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Thursday, Nov 14, 2019

Lucknow new hub for gangs that dupe e-tailers?

  Updated: Oct 14, 2019 21:22 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustantimes
         

CON BIZ Kabaddi player arrested twice for duping e-commerce firm held again – this time in Gwalior

A man arrested earlier in Lucknow and Kota for allegedly duping e-commerce firms was nabbed again last week by the Gwalior police for the same offence.

The accused, Rajkumar Meena alias Rahul Meena, 34, is believed to have conned e-commerce companies of an estimated Rs 1,500 million in the last three years – mostly by swapping high-end phones with packets of tea or soap bars.

“Rajkumar Meena, along with two others, was arrested in Lucknow on April 2 for duping an e-commerce firm. He used to order expensive phones and return the parcels after replacing these phones with tea packets or soap bars,” said Abhay Mishra, circle officer, Hazratganj.

A native of Jaipur, Rajkumar was a state level kabaddi player before he started the ‘con biz’ in Rajasthan. Later, he kept shifting to different cities of north India.

“Rajkumar and his aides used to operate from different cities so that online firms did not suspect them. To continue with their fraud, they also kept creating new accounts (with different phone numbers) on e-shopping portals,” said Mishra.

In case of arrest, they secured bail and move to a different city and began their operations again, he added.

Rajkumar Meena is part of a gang that targets e-commerce portals and these people have made Lucknow their new base, said police.

On Sunday, the police arrested two youths who duped an online shopping firm of an estimated ₹200 million. The duo placed orders for various items like protein supplements and then returned the parcels after replacing the contents with fake powder.

The accused reportedly created over 100 accounts through which they ordered products from e-tailers. Investigators recovered 29 prepaid SIM cards that they used to create new accounts.

Earlier, members of a gang involved in replacing electronic items in parcels of e-shopping portals were also arrested in Lucknow.

All these accused belonged to other cities, but ran their con biz in Lucknow. The duo arrested on Sunday and Rajkumar Meena were from Jaipur, said police.

A step ahead of e-commerce sites

E-commerce firms upgraded their security to prevent such frauds, but the gangs remained a step ahead.

“Around five years ago, the gang members used to order expensive items by creating accounts on the basis of fake email ids and sought delivery at a secluded place. When the delivery man reached the spot, they used to snatch the parcel from him and flee,” said cops.

Over a passage of time, the gang changed their modus operandi and started replacing the expensive products with substandard ones. To counter this, e-commerce websites improved their packaging and made them tamper-proof.

However, the gang members started misusing the ‘return and quick refund policy’ of the e-commerce sites to con them. They used different mobile numbers to create different accounts on the e-shopping portals,” said cops.

Even the people working for these e-commerce firms failed to identify the gang members. “We usually block the account and phone number of a subscriber in case of fraud. But the gang members use to create new accounts with different phone numbers to commit fraud,” said Shashank Singh, representative of an e-commerce firm that was duped by the gang.

BOX

Rs 1,500-mn fraud in 3 years

*The accused, Rajkumar Meena, 34, is believed to have conned e-commerce companies of an estimated Rs 1,500 million in the last three years – mostly by swapping high-end phones with packets of tea or soap bars.

*The gang members used to order expensive items by creating accounts on the basis of fake email ids and sought delivery at a secluded place. When the delivery man reached the spot, they used to snatch the parcel from him and flee, said cops.

*Over a passage of time, the accused changed their modus operandi and started replacing the expensive products with substandard ones.