MUMBAI: In a time of crisis when most of the citizens are coming out to help others, some cyber criminals are taking this as an opportunity to cheat people. Conmen are now misusing the name of Sonu Sood who got appreciations from all corners for his commendable charitable work during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Oshiwara Police in Mumbai has filed a case of impersonation and cheating against one person who had been impersonating actor Sonu Sood on social media and duping people.
Ashish Kumar Singh, 23, of Muzaffarpur, Bihar, was arrested for defrauding a man by claiming to be actor Sonu Sood and promising assistance.
Since Bollywood actor Sonu Sood is known for assisting thousands of migrant workers and people in India during the coronavirus-caused lockdown, Ashish Kumar Singh used the actor’s identity to deceive a Telangana resident.
On March 3, a Telangana resident approached the police and lodged a complaint against Ashish Kumar Singh. The complainant mentioned in his complaint that when he learned that Sonu Sood was assisting the needy, he checked for the actor’s company number on Google and found one.
According to the police, “The caller identified himself as Pankaj Singh Bhadauria, and the victim requested Rs 10,000 in cash. The con artist demanded his personal information and promised to assist him. He was told after a few days that Sonu Sood had inquired about his family and agreed to pay Rs 50,000. The caller requested Rs 8,300 as a registration fee.”
“The accused later told the person that his financial assistance had been increased to Rs 3.60 lakh and that he needed to pay for various formalities. The victim charged Rs 60,000 to the fraudster before realising he had been duped” said the officer.
Thanking cops for immediate action, Sood also warned the fraudsters’ to stop cheating needy. “Thank you @cyberabadpolice @TelanganaCOPs @cpcybd @TelanganaDGP for helping us catch the culprits who are trying to cheat the needy. Requesting all the frauds to stop their activities else they will be behind bars soon. Stop cheating poor people.” Sood Tweeeted.
However, following the incident, Sonu Sood posted on his social media accounts that his services are free.
“In the past, I have helped such fraudsters from Bihar to get on the right track after they were caught. My intention is not to punish but to show the right path to these fraudsters. In one such incident, a woman who needed an ambulance for her mother and was asked to deposit Rs 8,000 to Rs 10,000 by someone who said that he was from my team. The woman deposited the money but did not get an ambulance, because of which her mother died. I came to know about it after the incident, and later we helped her,” he said.
Sonu Sood had previously filed a complaint with the Uttar Pradesh Police Department in March after learning that fraudsters impersonating employees of a charity foundation (fake) run by Sood had posted their contact information on social media sites and were asking people to pay Rs 3,500 to get a loan.
He also lodged a complaint with the Oshiwara Police Department in September of last year.