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Scammed in online matrimony

it's ok to meet strangers and talk but do you know the reality?

We are often told to trust our intuitions and we tend to ignore that. Several questions arise in our head related to self-doubt and this inherent doubt that in what position am I to judge the other person, because it is supposed to be a bad habit, right? Wrong. Welcome to India. We have arranged marriages here. And thanks to technology, it has opened doors where you can meet people beyond your social circle. Well, some stories don’t have a happy ending.

June was filled with so many emotions that I had to let them out. My mom sent me a guy’s photo from some matrimony website. The guy looked decent and met all requirements of my mother. Now the ball was in my court because I am known to reject rishtas left and right and for this, I face a lot of flak too. We shared numbers, had a video call and the guy was really decent.

The only two things that bugged me were that he was not free on Sunday too and that he kept the camera very close to his face. But my therapist told me to go easy on people and try to trust them which is already very difficult for me. I tried. He told me his ancestral house was in Gujarat and he was born in Tamil Nadu, had his job in Turkey in an international bank. I nodded at every bit of information. The mind said that something seems odd but I didn’t listen. With each passing day, the doubt grew even further. I started noticing little things about him. Weird text on his clothes, his accented English, extra politeness laden with cheesy lines. The photos he shared on his matrimony profile looked photoshopped. ( I use the app a little, so I know)

On the surface, it all looked too good to be true. But hey, snap back to reality. I asked myself, TJ, are you being paranoid again. But it’s good to cross check, you can’t marry a person just like that. But I have to say something to my mother to take things further. Four days with these mixed feelings. He had no digital footprint, nothing at all. Finally, I sat down and started doing a reverse search of his face, the text on his clothes and guess what I found.

His actual name, his two babies, and that he was a security guard in Turkey. He specifically looked for me and just me. Whatever my mom put in her caste and creed section, he wrote the same in his requirement section. I don’t want to put this into words but now when I look back, I understand his evil intentions. On a smaller level, I could lose my money but on a bigger level, it could have been human trafficking.

We live in troubled times. Now, this might be uncomfortable for you but imagine if I really believed this guy and got married. When guys sitting in Jamtara scam people of their money, how do people feel? This was my life, it was the money, family, and all of me. A person claims to be the best person you’ve ever met and then turns out to be a scamster looking to make quick bucks out of you and your parents’ desperation.

What is the takeaway here? Check, cross-check, check till you feel confident. This is not a pizza that oh thoda jal gaya, koi baat nahi, coke se saath kha lenge to sahi lagega. I speak from a position of privilege. There are girls who get easily swayed. I have the resources so I figured it out but it’s not possible for everyone. What should be done according to me is to keep a checklist of your wants and requirements and never compromise on those basic things. But above all, keep your eyes open.

I thank myself for getting me out of this mess, with the help of police and government agencies of course. The matrimony took a very huge step by saying sorry and deleting his profile from the website. It’s a normal thing for society, people do get scammed. Nidhi Razdan got scammed too. This is nothing in front of that but hey, it matters to me. Technology got me scammed but saved me too. Don’t be too desperate if accha Rishta haath se chala Jaye. Trust your guts.

And I would like to end this by saying, thankyou SRK for ruining my idea of expectations.
This post is a part of Blogchatter Half Marathon

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