Visakhapatnam: A retired naval officer in Vizag has allegedly been duped of Rs 1.63 crore by cyber crooks (Facebook friends) in the guise of sending elegant and most expensive gifts.

The police said that the retired naval officer has been staying at Maharanipeta area in Vizag city. He had received a friend request from a woman named Sandra James of the UK in June this year. He accepted the friend request and after a few weeks, she started chatting with him on WhatsApp.

Sandra James told the retired naval officer that she was sending some gifts for him and she also sent the receipts of the same to him on WhatsApp.

In July, the retired officer received a phone call from a woman, Anitha, who claimed to be calling from the foreign parcel department. She informed that Sandra James sent a parcel to him and asked him to pay Rs 22,500 towards clearance charges and others to claim the same. The retired officer deposited the amount.

After sometime, Anitha made a phone call to him and informed that they have scanned the gift parcel, which contains over 1 lakh pounds, a golden watch, an iphone, apple laptops and a few others and she asked him to pay more money towards transportation of the gifts.

The complainant said that such calls continued and he ended up depositing over Rs 1.6 crore in different bank accounts. “When he didn’t receive any gift, he realised he was duped and approached the police station,” said Inspector of cybercrimes police station, Vizag, R.V.R.K. Choudhary.

The police said that they registered a case and investigation is on to identify the cyber crooks. The police said that cyber crooks have been duping the people in the guise of gifts and they appealed people not to fall prey to such calls.

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