Three of a gang held for duping and extorting money from over 3,000 victims
Gurugram: Police on Sunday arrested three men from Rajasthan’s Bharatpur area for allegedly duping at least 3,000 people across the country on the pretext of delivering liquor home via advertisements on social networking websites, updating their know your customer (KYC) forms online as well as extorting them for money by threatening to upload their compromising videos
Gurugram: Police on Sunday arrested three men from Rajasthan’s Bharatpur area for allegedly duping at least 3,000 people across the country on the pretext of delivering liquor home via advertisements on social networking websites, updating their know your customer (KYC) forms online as well as extorting them for money by threatening to upload their compromising videos.
Preet Pal Sangwan, assistant commissioner of police (crime), said a resident filed a complaint with them on July 25 stating he had been duped of ₹1.5 lakh after he ordered liquor online. “The victim saw an advertisement on social media and contacted the given number of a prominent shop of Gurugram and placed an order for ₹11,717. After a few minutes, he received a call by a man posing as the shop’s salesperson. The purported salesperson sent the victim a link, asked him to click on it and pay ₹10 as service charge. When the victim clicked on the link, ₹93,380 got debited from his account. Soon after, about ₹50,000 got debited as well,” he said.
The victim tried calling the given number, but the calls went unanswered. He then went to the shop and found that the shop does not offer any online services, neither does the number belong to the shop.
Sangwan said following the complaint, a case was registered under sections 419 (cheating by personation) and 420 (fraud) of Indian Penal Code and Section 66D of Information Technology Act at the Cyber Police Station. “We formed teams and started an investigation based on technical surveillance and received some leads. We then sent teams to Bharatpur area. After verifying all the numbers and the suspects’ involvement, we arrested three of them from Jurehra,” he said.
Police identified the arrested men as Aaqib Javed, Taslim Khan and Sabbir of Bharatpur, and said they had been duping people for over a year.
Sangwan said the men led a team comprising 12 persons. “They placed fake advertisements for liquor shops delivering alcohol home online , selling second-hand items (including vehicles), offering to update KYC forms and extorting people for money by threatening to upload their compromising videos,” he said.
Police said they also posed as army officers selling cars second-hand and swiped funds from the bank accounts of their victims by sending them malicious QR codes.
Police added the gang bought over 300 mobile phones and SIM cards and would discard them after each con.
Police also said the fraudsters engaged over a dozen women to befriend men on WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook. The women would induce the men to strip on video calls and record them. The gang would then blackmail the men by threatening to upload the photos and videos on social media, police said, adding they are yet to identify the women.
Sangwan said the gang members had duped victims of ₹25 lakh in the last 15 days.
Police have recovered four mobile phones, ₹47,200, 14 SIM Cards and ATM cards from their possession. The bank accounts have also been frozen.