Four held in Gurgaon for running Noida like online ponzi scheme | gurgaon | Hindustan Times
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Four held in Gurgaon for running Noida like online ponzi scheme

Four men, including the director, of a Gurgaon based Profit Network company that operated an online clickbait scheme and defrauded people of over Rs 8 crore emulating Noida ponzi scheme were arrested on Monday.

gurgaon Updated: Feb 20, 2017 23:15 IST
Abhishek Behl
The four accused defrauded people of over ₹8 crore using an online clickbait scheme.
The four accused defrauded people of over ₹8 crore using an online clickbait scheme. (Sanjeev Verma/HT Photo)

Police arrested four men, including the director, of a Gurgaon based Profit Network company that operated an online clickbait scheme and defrauded people of over Rs 8 crore.

Initial investigation has found that the accused have cheated 4,866 persons by promising them large returns in lieu of investing small amounts, police said.

The company started operations in 2016 and it ceased business in February 2017 after an FIR was registered against it.

One of the accused had earlier worked with the Noida based WebWork company, which emulated another web-based fraudster Social Trade Dot Buzz that was recently busted for carrying out a multi-level online marketing fraud worth Rs 3,700 crore.

The software to lure people into clicking on links, calculating their earnings, and managing their accounts was designed by the accused in Jaipur.

Police identified the four men as Raj Kumar Sharma of Surat in Gujarat who is originally from Mahendragarh, Daulat Singh of Jaipur, Bharat Kumar of Alwar,Rajasthan and Ajay of Bhiwani.

Most of the victims of fraud are from Gurgaon, Rewari, Mahendragarh and adjacent areas of south Haryana.

Police have frozen Rs 83 lakh in seven bank accounts operated by the Profit Network Company in Gurgaon. The company had opened these accounts in four different banks, including IDFC Bank, Axis Bank, ICICI Bank and Bandhan bank.

Sumit Kuhar, DCP, crime, said the accused were using the same modus operandi as the one used by the Noida based company (Social Trade Dot Buzz) that accumulated Rs 3,700 crore by offering people money in lieu of clicks. “The four accused used Google advertisement to spread their business and asked people to invest small amounts first .. They managed to lure large number of people and defrauded them of a huge sum,” Kuhar said.

Raj Kumar had earlier worked with WebWork company. Daulat Singh and Bharat Kumar are friends. Ajay Singh managed the financial side of the business, police said.

As per the scheme , people would be asked to invest Rs 4,600 or in its multiples up to Rs 1.25 lakh. For the smallest investment of Rs 4,600, the company offered 10 clicks per day at the rate of Rs 5 per click that was paid uniformally regardless of the investment. “For an investment of Rs 4,600 an individual would earn over Rs 15,000 a year and this is quite a good return. So, the people invested a lot of money and also got their friends involved in the hope of making profit,” Kuhar said.

The police action came after an FIR was lodged by Vijay Singh of Rewari and Amit Kumar of Sonepat against the company on February 14. Both the complainants had become members of the company on January 23, 2017 and had transferred Rs 2.5 lakh to its account.

On being questioned, the four men admitted that they started Profit Network company in July 2016 and duped 4,800 persons by making them its members. The members had deposited about Rs 8 crore in the company’s bank accounts, police said.