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Delhi man falls prey to dating scam, ₹1.21 lakh extorted from him

INDDelhi man falls prey to dating scam, ₹1.21 lakh extorted from him

A man was threatened, confined, and forced to pay a bill of ₹ 1.21 lakh as part of a dating scam, after a woman he met on a dating app took him to a cafe in East Delhi’s Vikas Marg to celebrate her birthday, the police said.

The police have arrested the cafe owners, the woman and another man in connection with the incident and a case of cheating and criminal conspiracy has been registered against all the accused, they added.

According to the victim’s complaint, on June 23, he met his date Versha, who took him to Black Mirror Cafe, where they had food, cakes, and fruit wine. When she left abruptly citing a family emergency, he was handed a bill of ₹1.21 lakhs.
The woman, Versha, is a resident of Krishna Nagar and is suspected to have scammed others by using multiple aliases, the police said. She lives with Aryan, 25, who is unemployed and is an accused in the case. Another accused has been identified as Akshay Pahwa, 32, a resident of Shahdara, and one of the owners of Black Mirror Cafe. The other owners are Vansh Pahwa, Akshay’s cousin, and Ansh Grover, their friend.

When the woman left, it was the cafe owner who handed the victim the bill, the police said. “When he disputed the bill, he was threatened, confined, forced to make an online payment. Later, he understood he was scammed, so he reported the matter to the local police,” DCP (East) Apoorva Gupta said.
Investigations revealed that the money was transferred to Mr. Pahwa’s bank account. The cafe also employed Digranshu as their manager, who is an acquaintance of Aryan.

The alleged bill at Black Mirror Cafe was divided in a fixed ratio — 15% goes to the woman, 45% is divided between the cafe manager and Aryan, and the remaining 40% goes to the owners, the police said.
“Several such schemes operate in major metro cities like Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad, to extort money from innocent victims. The modus operandi involves collusion between cafe owners, managers, and individuals who trap victims through dating apps. There is a social stigma attached to such incidents which often prevents victims from reporting them,” the DCP said.

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