PANAJI: Goa police say that they’re finding it difficult to crack down on fraudsters and their constantly changing modus operandi. The scamsters, who frequently target Goan women, have now moved to cyptocurrencies like instead of asking victims to deposit money into fake accounts.
Speaking to STOI, crime branch SP Karthik Kashyap said that often when the police traces fraudsters, they realise that they don’t ask people to deposit money in accounts anymore since that involves a chance of getting caught. “They deposit bitcoin in traders’ accounts, and when we inquire, they say that the person has taken the bitcoin and left,” Kashyap said. Bitcoin, a cryptocurrency, is a form of electronic cash without a centralised bank or administrator controlling it. It has been highly criticised around the world for its use in illegal transactions.

Kashyap said Goa police are working on a mechanism to catch hold of online scamsters. Recently, two women from Mapusa and Panaji were duped by online fraudsters to the tune of Rs 25 lakh on the pretext on sending them gifts from the US. Both cases were registered at the cyber crime cell in Panaji.

Since 2014, Goa police have registered several cases of Goan women cheated of their money over promises of marriage, gifts, jobs, and prizes. In most of these cases, online fraudsters get in touch with these women on social media and get friendly with them. After chatting for a few weeks, the fraudster promises them gifts.

Then, the victims often spend huge amounts of money to get the gift ‘released’, and the fraudsters even arrange for a fake ‘customs officer’ to call the victim to pay duty.

Police say that many women looking for their soulmates online have found themselves trapped in a web of deceipt and financial loss after being cheated of lakhs. Police also say that most often, victims are embarassed and don’t come forward to report the crime.

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