Two scam artists, masterminds of a scheme to defraud men on matrimonial websites, found their undoing when they fabricated a profile impersonating a female magistrate from the Bandra court. The actual magistrate, upon discovering the deception, promptly alerted the police, leading to the arrest of the culprits. Identified as Sanket Chavan, 23, and Sushil Modi, 67, the duo specialized in duping men by creating alluring profiles and engaging them in conversations, with Chavan skillfully mimicking a woman’s voice during phone calls.
Their modus operandi involved requesting urgent funds ranging from Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000 under the guise of unforeseen circumstances related to the potential alliance. The victims, hesitant to report the relatively modest amounts, refrained from filing complaints. However, their unchecked exploits reached an impasse when they concocted a counterfeit profile of a lady magistrate. The pivotal moment arrived when a software engineer, Amit Bhosale, engaged with the fake magistrate on a matrimonial site.
Upon being asked for Rs 7,000 urgently, Bhosale grew suspicious and suggested sending cash due to concerns about digital payments. The fraudsters retaliated by sending fabricated court orders and threats. Bhosale, realizing the ruse, reported the incident to the actual court, prompting the magistrate to involve the police. The Mumbai police’s cyber cell orchestrated a plan with Bhosale’s cooperation to apprehend the scammers.
Chavan and Modi, who had devised their scam strategy while serving time together in Arthur Road jail for a previous cheating case, collaborated upon their release. They operated by posing as the brother and uncle of the fictitious woman, Ashwini Pandit, using the image of a Pune-based woman influencer to bolster the credibility of their fake profiles. Their deceit extended to in-person meetings with victims, where they justified the absence of the supposed bride with excuses.