Hyderabad: The Raidurgam Police on Friday arrested a cyber-fraudster for developing fake grocery and furniture portals.
According to the police, the man had used two websites, www.zopnow.in and www.modwayfurniture.in through which he claimed to be selling groceries and furniture at cheaper prices than the market and had cheated people to the tune of several lakhs across India.
Police seized Rs 40 lakh and other material from Rishabh Upadhyay alias Chandan (30), a web developer from Bengaluru and a native of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. His accomplice, Rahul from Punjab, was absconding.
While staying at a hostel in Bengaluru, Chandan had registered himself on freelancing websites and started working as a freelancer by offering services of developing websites, taking projects from clients, etc.
According to the police, three years ago, Chandan was contacted by a person named Prince from the USA for designing a new website www.jobfinder.info. Later, he learnt that the website he created was not a genuine one and many people got cheated through the website by paying.
“He then created fake Skype accounts with fake names and contacted Rahul who is a digital marketing expert and took online digital marketing services from him,” Cyberabad Police Commissioner VC Sajjanar said.
“Through the fake Skype IDs, he contacted many people and made false promises that he would provide US onsite job visas and gave them directions to open new bank accounts and collected their banking credentials. He also developed a fake furniture website using credentials of a person by name Shivendra Singh Rana and cheated him.” Sajjanar said.
During the lockdown many people faced difficulties in purchasing groceries and thus, he selected www.zopnow.com, which was a well-known grocery shopping portal based out of Bengaluru but which was not operational now.
He also created a fake furniture website www.modwayfurniture.in by imitating a popular, reputed Canada based shopping website www.modway.com. These websites were developed on the advise of Rahul to cheat people who will shop by believing them to be original authentic shopping websites.
“He opened about 20 cash free payment gateway accounts using the credentials of various people, who applied for jobs in the USA in the website designed by him,” Sajjanar said.
The incident came to light after a techie from Khajaguda was cheated and approached the Cyberabad Cyber Crime Police.
“Until now, nine persons have been identified to have been cheated by them in Cyberabad. We are suspecting many more from across the country,” Sajjanar said.
Chandan was arrested from Bengaluru and brought to Hyderabad and remanded in judicial custody.
The police have issued an advisory on the issue:
- Do not believe in fake websites
- Do not believe in websites offering huge discounts
- Do not pay money in advance for getting goods online
- Do not believe in websites offering goods for much cheaper than the market price
- If you are suspicious, contact 9490617310 (Cyber Crime PS, Cyberabad) or WhatsApp no.9490617444