When sub-inspector Anuplata posed as a prospective bride to catch a cyber cheat

For Sub-Inspector Anuplata (28), it was a case like no other she had dealt with. A team from the cyber crime police station in Northeast Delhi that she is a part of arrested Bipin Kumar Jha (25) for cheating women registered on a matrimonial website. For this, Anuplata created a profile on the same website, presenting herself as a potential match.

Police were acting on a cyber fraud complaint filed by a woman, who said that Jha presented himself as a Captain in the Army and approached her after seeing her profile on a matrimonial site. He asked her for around Rs 2 lakh, which she transferred, before he began avoiding her later, according to police. He told her that he was posted in Jammu and Kashmir and needs to travel to Bihar for the treatment of his ill father.

Anuplata, the investigating officer in the case, created a profile on the same matrimonial website.

“Some time had to be given for this because it was about building trust with somebody. It takes time for that. I had been speaking to him for a month. His phone would not usually remain switched on. This was also about convincing him that I am a regular person. Then he started calling from his phone,” she said.

The most challenging part about the investigation was that he was calling from many different remote locations, she said. “He was in Karnataka, Jharkhand, MP. He was stopping at a lot of places and it was practically impossible to cover all the houses in those areas. He wouldn’t even go home, so we couldn’t locate him that way. On October 19, the location (of the phone) was in Jaipur and we immediately formed a team and left for a raid. He was caught from a restaurant there,” she said.

He moved from one place to another to avoid getting caught, Anuplata said. The police have traced three to four other women that he had cheated of money, but there are likely to be more, she said, adding that he had cheated two other women of Rs 15,000 and a third woman of around Rs 35,000.

She would mostly talk to him on WhatsApp. “I told him that I saw his profile on the website and got his mobile number from there… my profile was that of a teacher,” she said.

“It was a little strange to talk like this with somebody when personally we are not attached to them… to give them time. But we know we’re doing this for the right purpose, and it’s part of the job,” she added.

Anuplata, who has been serving in the Delhi Police for about three years and four months, said that she had heard about similar cases in the past with a matrimonial website, but this is the first time she was involved in cracking such a case.

According to police, the accused was influenced by stories of cyber fraud of a similar nature. He would find women on such websites, contact them with offers for marriage and then talk with them. He would then ask them for money and disappear, police said.