LUCKNOW: The Uttar Pradesh Cyber Police arrested a gang that allegedly duped people by offering franchises through their fake websites of well-known brands and popular government schemes.
Three conmen who were into the business of website designing, have been arrested, and multiple bank accounts have been frozen.
According to the police, there are over 17 cyber fraud incidents linked to this gang. The gang operated multiple fake websites of iconic brands, offering dealerships and distributorship to aspiring businessmen who dreamed of having their outlet of a well-known firm.
The gang also cheated people by creating look-a-like websites of popular financing and insurance companies. They also had many fake websites in the name of government schemes.
Police said the victim who registered an FIR was looking for such opportunities online when he came across one of these fake websites.
He immediately dialed the website’s mobile number and was guided through several steps over the next few days, including the completion of forms, the submission of documents, and so on.
The businessman was also asked to pay for fees such as application form processing, document verification, security deposit, brand-name usage, hardware advance, and site-inspection fee. He ended up paying Rs 17.39 lakh over a two-month period in which she was repeatedly misled by crooks posing as officials of a big brand.
When the victim was repeatedly asked for money on flimsy grounds he realised that he has been duped by the fraudsters. “He reported the fraud to the cops, and the Cyber Cell took over the investigation. It was discovered that hundreds of fake websites are active in the name of popular brands and offering franchisees for large sums of money,” said Prof Triveni Singh, SP, Cyber Crime, Uttar Pradesh.
According to a senior officer, “based on technical surveillance, it was also discovered that a large number of people across the country had become victims of such fake websites.”
Cops discovered that the fraudsters cheated the people by using multiple bank accounts and a large number of bogus SIM cards. Three gang members were arrested after extensive surveillance.
Triveni Singh explained that the gang created look-a-like websites of popular brands, then registered similar-sounding domains and enrolled and promoted these fake sites through Google Ads for higher ranking and visibility.
Some of the fake websites created by the gang were:
www.royalenfielddealer.net , www.jawamotorcycledealership.net , www.revoltdealers.co.in , www.easydayfranchise.com , www.herballife.ind.in , www.motherdairydealership.com , www.savebc.net/webmail , email@example.com,www.quickloan.ind.in , www.kusumyojna.ind.in