Whoever said dating is easy must not have met the man who spent 12 lakh for the dates but never got to go on a single one. The married 41-year-old Mumbai man clicked on a dating website that popped on his mobile screen in hope of going on a date with a beautiful girl. Rather, he was cheated by four people posing as website operators.

The moment he clicked on the site and filled his personal information like name, age, gender, phone number, he received a call from a girl named Tanya (on May 21) who promised him a date with a beautiful girl. In his statement to the cops, he said, “Minutes after I provided my details, I received a call from a woman named, Tanya. She said their company was offering a date with a beautiful girl and as part of the offer, they’d refund the money they charged for it.” The money was being taken to make the arrangements for the date in a 5-star hotel.

They asked him to pay Rs, 3.40 lakh in three instalments and he agreed. On May 23, he paid them Rs 1 lakh as the first instalment. The man claims, “I paid Rs 1 lakh to an account under the name of one Shubendu Mandal from Kolkata. Then, I got a call from a woman named Mini who brought another girl to the call, saying they’d be sending her for the ‘meeting’. On May 26, I paid Rs 1.20 lakh. After this, they told me, they’d refund all my money if I paid Rs 5.24 lakh,”

Like this, he fell deep into the trap. This is not all as when he realized that he has entered the spider’s web, he demanded his money back and asked his account to be deleted. A man named Rushi called him and told that he has to pay Rs 2 lakh more for the account to be deleted. This makes it a total of Rs 12.55 lakh.

When he refused, the company threatened to take him to the cops and continued calling and emailing him. The banker gave in and paid the money. He revealed to Mid-Day, “At first, I was curious to know how the site works, so I clicked on the link. Then, I entered my personal information. After that, it just felt like I got trapped in an extortion racket. Now I have lost Rs 12.55 lakh and hoping cops will arrest these racketeers and get my money back.”

When he realized he has no way out and has lost his money, he revealed the truth to his wife who suggested him to file an FIR with the Police. So the man has now registered a case against the dating website at the Dadar police station on June 2. The Police has registered the case under sections 420 (cheating), 506 (criminal intimidation), 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code and relevant sections of the IT Act.