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Cyber ​​police arrest three for ‘franchise fraud’ across India

The Uttar Pradesh Police Cyber ​​Crime Wing has arrested three men, who are alleged to have been involved in deceiving people online across the country under the guise of providing franchises of some popular commercial brands.

The criminal background investigation of the gang revealed that they had created fake websites of popular retail chains, dairy products, car manufacturers and even central government schemes for farmers to trick people, Cyber ​​Crime Police Superintendent Triveni Singh said.

“The trio were arrested on Friday following a case filed in Prayagraj where the plaintiff alleged fraud of Rs 17 lakh. The plaintiff was tricked into paying the money in exchange for the Easyday retail chain franchise,” Singh told PTI.

“The gang also duped people on behalf of big companies like Royal Enfield, Bajaj Finance, Easyday, PM Kusum Yojna etc. and is suspected of defrauding thousands of people across the country. We are working on more cases related to this gang and expect more victims deceived by them to approach the police,” the officer said.

The defendants have been identified as Vinay Kumar alias Ashok Singh, 33, Abhishek Sharma, 27, and Ratnesh Bharti, 29. Vinay worked as the main operator while Abhishek developed the gang’s websites, he said.

Regarding the modus operandi of the criminals, Singh said the police investigation revealed that this gang is one of many cyber crook groups that now operate out of Nalanda in Bihar and nearby areas.

“They are notorious online criminals who have organized their work very cleverly. They operate from Bihar, have mobile phone SIM cards from West Bengal and have set up fake websites in Madhya Pradesh. For the transaction of the deceived money, they used bank accounts that were not in their name,” he said.

“According to our investigations so far, they have tricked people from Tamil Nadu and Kerala in southern India to people from Jammu and Kashmir in the north. They have multiple victims in states like UP, MP, Bihar and Rajasthan. Legal proceedings are ongoing against them,” he added.

The cybercrime department, meanwhile, has urged people to exercise caution during online transactions and social media activities to avoid financial fraud or other hassles. Police have also urged people to approach them on the dedicated helpline number 1930 or 112 to report any cyber-related cases.

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(Edited by : Sudarsanan Mani)

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