The recent incident involving the ‘fake IPL’ (more about it below), got India’s attention back to the instances of con ‘artists’ duping people of huge chunks of money – millions in some cases. Here we look at some such cases of these frauds gaining people’s confidence and then leaving them with their accounts empty.

1. A group of people in Gujarat set up a fake IPL and even got Russian punters to bet on the matches that were played by labourers and youth of the area.

This happened in the Molipur village of Gujarat where these conmen went to extreme limits in making the fake matches look real. They hired ‘cricketers; who were actually young men from the region, got them to wear CSK, MI, and Gujarat Titans jerseys, shot these matches on HD cameras, and live-streamed them on YouTube. The funniest bit, dare I say, is that they got someone who sounds like Harsha Bhogle to do commentary for these matches. That guy is from Meerut. 

Anyway, the group got busted by the local police and 4 people associated with the crime are now being investigated. We’re sure you want to see a glimpse of their games. Who can resist? So, here you go.

2. The con history of India is elaborate, though, and one of its prime figures is Natwarlal, the man whose name became synonymous with a swindler. This guy seemingly took inspiration from Victor Lustig, he ‘sold’ Taj Mahal, the Red Fort, the Parliament, and the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

A particularly interesting story states that the people who ‘bought’ the Parliament, thought they were buying the members of the Parliament too. How does that even work?! That should not be the question I should be asking, right?

The guy, who inspired a lot of writing in Hindi cinema, was also infamous for his prison escapes and his death is uncertain to death. Did he die in 1996 when he escaped jail in Ranchi? Or did he die in 2009? We will never know. 

3. A con artist, reportedly named Mon Singh, pulled the Opera House heist in Mumbai that proved to be the inspiration for the movie Special 26

As shown in the movie, he posed as a CBI officer at the Tribhovandas Bhimji Zaveri & Sons Jewellers shop and asked them to submit huge amounts of jewelry as part of the raid. They obviously complied. The bags filled with jewels were then transferred to a bus by the ‘CBI employees’ who were actually people who had applied for his fake job application for a post at the bureau. They did not know they were being used. Mon Singh fled with the money on that bus and was never seen or heard from again. He served no jail time. 

Chill Zee

5. Andhra Pradesh resident Modela Venkata Dinesh Kumar, used to take money from people at the IGI airport, New Delhi, by saying that he missed his flight and needs money to board another one. He duped around 100 people like this.

The case came out in the open when one of his victims registered a complaint with the police stating that a guy at the IGI airport told him he missed his flight to Visakhapatnam and even showed him the cancelled ticket worth ₹15,000. He then said that he only had ₹6,500 left with him and needed around ₹9,000 more. The victim fell into his trap and sent him the money via Google Pay. Obviously, he never got it back.

5. Remember The Tinder Swindler? Much like that, a conman duped a woman of around ₹62 lakhs by making a fake profile on a matrimonial site.

This guy claimed that he was a civil engineer based out of the UK and convinced the woman that he needed financial help to come back to India, after which he would marry her. He said that he was sending his luggage separately. Then, over the course of a few days, he made her pay more than ₹60 lakhs by citing reasons such as customs clearance, luggage charge, etc. The woman, who had made 15 transactions in this duration, finally got suspicious and informed the police.


6. In another such case, a woman from Mumbai was duped of ₹40 lakhs by a man who posed to be an Indian-origin US citizen after he promised to marry her.

The two ‘matched’ with each other on a matrimonial site, after which the guy told the woman that he wants to get hitched and is flying down to India for the same. Later, he asked her to make payment to him by citing a false reason that he was detailed at the New Delhi airport. 

Saral Marriage/Image for Representation

7. A bride who was traveling to her in-laws’ place from her parents’ house, requested her husband to get some water for her on the way. As the guy went to get it, she collected jewels and money belonging to his family and fled.

This whole thing happened at a bus stand in Uttar Pradesh. The victim, Raju, had gone to buy water bottle for his bride, but upon returning realised that she was nowhere to be found. It didn’t take long for him to understand what had happened.

Amritahenna/Image for Representation

8. 70-year-old Hardev Panesar duped over 100 people over the course of several years by promising them immigration status in the US. He’d make the immigrants in the US believe that he could get them legal immigration status.

His case went to a court in San Diego, where he confessed to his crimes and said that he’d pay $2.5 million to those who he had duped.