CYBER CRIME AGAINST WOMEN BY DEBARATI HALDER
Couple of years back one of my friends had a tiff off with her boyfriend and she decided to take revenge in a unique way…….she created a profile in a matrimonial site with a fictitious name and bio to show her boyfriend how much in demand she is still now. Fortunately she was wise enough not to give her own personal details except her good old granny’s phone number which she often used as a ‘spare number’ . In no time, her inbox was flooded with proposals asking her to send her picture immediately. Some were from the prospective grooms; some were from the parents of ‘boys’. She played a trick. She chose one proposal from a prospective groom who described himself ‘good looking’, ‘in his thirties’, ‘caring’, ‘well paid’ and ‘only son of parents’. She fixed up an appointment with this Mr. Handsome in a public place (well, she knew it was a ‘game’ so she dared not to see him in a restaurant or a ‘lover’s corner’). He obviously exhibited a very charming picture in his profile page and he indicated that he would be in ‘pink’ shirt as my friend loved that soothing colour. She reached the place in time and hid herself in the crowd to keep a watch on this Mr. Pink. There he appeared, gave a message to her mobile about the exact place where he is standing and told he is eagerly waiting to see his lovely would be bride.; he was medium built, half bald, had a good bulging belly. My friend probably guessed all these. She came back, changed her number and withdrew her profile from the site……….Both of them were not right and my friend promised that never again she would play such tricks…… and perhaps the man was a habitual ‘flirt’.
This is not a new story for many readers…..isn’t it? Cheating through matrimonial sites has become very common phenomena now days. Although the sites do caution the viewer about reliability of the informations provided by the account creators, many parents rely on the face value of the profile holders than the real value of their daughter’s life. At the same time, I also know another friend of mine who is now leading a blissful married life due to matrimonial site…she chose her husband from the matrimonial site herself after having a thorough investigation done by her friends and acquaintances and finally she even dropped in herself with her parents to check the reality.
Marriages through online matchmakers really have a 50-50 chance especially when one does not search properly. Internet has given a platform to create numerous avatars of oneself and it has indeed become very easy to cheat. I have noticed that there are sockets which can easily pull the ‘ignorant’ participant/s to the vicious web; these are as follows:
Anxiousness of parents who want their daughters to get married by hook or crook;
Eagerness to get ‘foren’ bridegrooms;
Presumption that the ‘boy’ really earns and owns a good fortune;
The peculiar Indian mindset that ‘looks really don’t matter for men when they can feed their wives well and look after them comfortably’;
Lack of awareness about the dangerous ‘side effects’ of internet match-makings.
Some may argue……what is so special to talk negatively about internet matchmaking when people can be cheated in offline real life match making too……Well, there IS some thing to talk about. There are always chances that the girl’s personal informations and pictures are misused and her reputation is so much jeopardized that she may never be considered as a ‘good girl’ in the marriage market. What pains me more is, these innocent victims become heavily depressed and withdrawn for some mischievous activities of others.
Well, the good news is, in India, we do have good laws both under Indian Penal code and also under Information Technology Act which can nail the charlatan. Both these laws can be applied to book the mischief monger under sections dealing with cheating and impersonating primarily and also under provisions which safeguard one’s privacy, reputation etc. But the bad news is, suing the matrimonial sites may not be fruitful for the fraudulent activities of the fake ‘prospective groom’, as they enjoy immunity from this very liability (especially when they have already exercised due diligence).
Hence the only way to be safe when going for matchmaking through internet is, to search and research and then refresh the search.
Please Note: Do not violate copyright of this blog. If you would like to use informations provided in this blog for your own assignment/writeup/project/blog/article, please cite it as “Halder D. (2010), “Match making sites ………do they really match?”,October 2010, published in http://debaraticyberspace.blogspot.com/