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Photo fraud sours rollicking Facebook love story

- Hazaribagh youth narrowly escapes jail for impersonating friend to woo-win Hyderabad college girl

Not all is fair in love always.

A jobless Hazaribagh youth, smitten by a 21-year-old college student from Hyderabad he met on Facebook, made her believe he was quite a dude by mailing photographs of a friend and even sweet-talked her into lending him money for his seeming entrepreneurial ventures.

Fortunately, he has been let off with a warning for an offence, which could have otherwise invited three years of prison term under Section 419 (impersonation) and seven years under Section 420 (fraud) of the IPC.

Posh Shivdayal Nagar resident Saket Kumar (27) met his “lady love” on the popular social networking site some three years ago. A city slicker, he confidently caught her fancy but apparently lacked self-confidence when it came to his average appearance. So, when the girl implored him to show her his picture — there was none on his Facebook profile or album — Saket sent snaps of his handsome friend and neighbour Saurabh Kumar.

Their virtual affair turned telephonic too and raged on for months before the girl asked Saket to seek her hand from her parents. The unemployed graduate, whose father is a well-placed government employee, claimed he was too poor to marry her.

Head over heels in love perhaps, the gullible college girl offered him money to start a business. The youth gladly accepted. According to arrangement, Saket gave her three bank account numbers and the girl transferred Rs 2.63 lakh in instalments over a year.

A month ago, she implored him once again to come and meet her parents who she said were looking for a match for her. Saket gave in apparently hoping his fraud would be forgiven and forgotten in love.

Twenty days ago, he landed at Hyderabad station where the girl was eagerly waiting to receive him. She was shocked to see Saket who was nowhere close to the photographs she had seen. Despite being appalled by his deception, she took him home.

During his five-day stay in Hyderabad, the girl’s parents, who also cleared the air by calling Saurabh Kumar, grilled Saket. Humiliated and love lost, he promised to return the money and took a train back to Hazaribagh.

Soon after reaching town on Monday, Saket learned that his friend Saurabh had lodged a verbal complaint with Pelawal police who had summoned him.

Pelawal OC Vijay Kerketta said since both youths belonged to “respectable families” and the girl’s parents had not lodged any formal complaint either, Saket was let off with a warning. “No one lodged any complaint in writing. The neighbours resolved the matter mutually. We hope the young man would not repeat his mistake,” the officer said, adding that love often restrained rationality.

Saket Kumar refused to speak to The Telegraph.

How safe are social networking sites? Tell ttkhand@abpmail.com


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