Mumbai News

Mumbai businessman orders N95 masks online, loses Rs 2.93 lakh – Hindustan Times

A businessman from Mumbai who ordered N95 masks after seeing an advertisement on a popular social media platform ended up losing Rs2.93 lakh in a case of cyber-fraud, police officials have said.

Earlier this month, another businessman from Mumbai lost Rs12.29 lakh while trying to procure N95 masks and personal protective equipment (PPE) kits online.

According to police in MHB Colony, the 35-year-old businessman, a resident of Borivali (West), registered a first information report (FIR) with them on May 21. According to his complaint, he had seen an advertisement for N95 masks. A copy of the FIR was reviewed by HT.

“We have freezed the bank account of the accused and the money of the complainant has been saved. We are trying to trace the accused,” said Pandit Thakare, senior police inspector of MHB colony police station.

He contacted the person who had issued the advertisement through Facebook Messenger and got his mobile number. The person said he owns a mask manufacturing company in Raigad.

According to the complaint, the businessman said he wanted to buy 200,000 N95 masks but the person who claimed to be the mask manufacturer said he had only 100,000 masks and if a booking was not made immediately, he would sell them to someone else.

The businessman booked 100,000 masks at a cost of Rs1.65 crore but said he would complete the deal after meeting the seller in person. The seller, however, said this would not be possible because of the Covid-19 lockdown and that he would deliver the masks by truck to Borivali.

The businessman asked him to send a video of the masks as proof. The seller sent him a video of a truck containing masks. Based on this video, the businessman sent Rs2.93 lakh in installments as advance payment till May 12.

Following these payments, the other person kept delaying the order. After a few days passed, the businessman got angry and the seller said he was cancelling the deal and would return the money.

A few more days passed by but the seller did not return the money or deliver the masks. The helpless businessman told him that he would file a police complaint, to which the seller said he was free to go ahead. As more days passed by, the businessman kept contacting the seller, who gave no response.

On May 21, the businessman approached police in MHB Colony and lodged an FIR for cheating and impersonation.