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Delhi conman who posed as author, hired expensive cars and moved with guards, arrested

The accused, Tarun Poddar, had allegedly created a Twitter account to promote the book and his Facebook account showed he had studied in a foreign university and was working as a top official with an aviation firm

delhi Updated: Aug 08, 2018 09:00 IST
Shiv Sunny
Shiv Sunny
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Delhi conman,guards,author
To avoid suspicion, accused Tarun Poddar allegedly designed the front and back covers of a book in his name and put it up for sale on an online shopping app.

A 24-year-old computer science graduate who put on a fake personality by posing as an author and official of an aviation firm has been arrested for cheating a Delhi woman of lakhs of rupees by promising to get her nephew admitted to a top city school, police said on Tuesday.

“Tarun Poddar would allegedly hire expensive cars and bodyguards to come across as a genuine author and operational head of a multinational aviation firm,” said Vijay Kumar, deputy commissioner of police (west).

To his victims, he would allegedly lie about being the author of a book on love. To avoid suspicion, Poddar allegedly designed the front and back covers of a book in his name and put it up for sale on an online shopping app.

“The book covers carried Poddar’s name, but the content inside was someone else’s. We suspect he himself would write reviews for the books on the shopping app and on blogs. He even managed to get fake news published about himself,” said the DCP.

Tarun had allegedly created a Twitter account to promote the book and his Facebook account showed he studied in a foreign university and working as a top official with an aviation firm. “The fake personality impressed some women who were keen on marrying him. He would use the opportunity to cheat them,” said the officer.

Police learnt of Poddar’s alleged fraud on May 29 when a Delhi woman approached the west Delhi district police to complain that her relative had been duped of Rs 8.5 lakh.

“Poddar had met the woman while sharing a cab with her. He used the brief meeting to boast about his links to reputed schools in Delhi and his contacts with top officials in multinational firms. In reality, he was a graduate in computer science and earned his living by cheating people,” said the DCP.

The conversation in the cab continued even after the ride as Poddar continued to be friendly with the woman, police said. “Since the woman believed Poddar was really a man with contacts, one day she requested him to help with admission of her relative’s son,” the officer said.

Since the school of choice was a reputed one with many branches in the city, Poddar allegedly demanded Rs 12 lakh for a confirmed admission. The woman’s family was able to arrange Rs 8.5 lakh.

“Poddar created a fake email id in the name of the school and sent a confirmation email to the child’s parents. When the parents cross-checked it with the school, they realised they had been cheated. The police were subsequently approached,” said the DCP.

The cyber cell of west Delhi district police used phone details to track Poddar down to his home in north Delhi’s Rani Bagh. Police said they recovered the “fake” book from him. Police said so far they are aware of two other cheating cases involving Poddar.

First Published: Aug 08, 2018 03:41 IST