MBA graduate dupes people with fake grocery and furniture website

Commissioner of Police VC Sajjanar during a media conference in Hyderabad.  

An MBA graduate in international marketing who developed a fake grocery and furniture website and cheated people was arrested by the Cyberabad police here on Friday.

The accused, Rishabh Upadhyay alias Chandan (30), is a web developer from Bengaluru. He is a native of Sudhamapur in Banaras in Uttar Pradesh. His associate, Rahul, a digital marketing professional from Punjab, is still at large.

Commissioner of Police VC Sajjanar said that the duo developed two websites on the pretext of selling groceries and furniture at a cheaper price when compared to open market and duped hundreds of gullible people from across the country.

According to him, on April 24, a techie from Khajaguda approached them stating that there is a website called www.zopnow.in which was similar to the website www.bigbasket.com. He has placed an order for groceries worth Rs. 1544.40 and after successful completion of transaction he did not get any confirmation from the website. Later he has contacted the customer care number and sent an email to care@zopnow.in but in vain. Soon, he realised he was cheated and lodged a complaint. Based on his complaint, a case was registered and the Upadhyay was arrested by Raidurgam police.

Mr. Sajjanar said that the arrested person was staying at a PG in Bengaluru and registered in freelancing websites with his name ‘Rishabh Upadhyay’ and started working as a freelancer by offering services of developing websites, taking projects from clients.

About three years ago, one Prince from the USA contacted him for designing a new website. He completed the project and handed it over to him. “After 45 days he searched about the reviews of the website and found that the website is not a genuine one and many people got cheated through the website by paying $1 by each and the cumulative cheated amount might be thousands of dollars,” the Commissioner said.

So, he hatched a plan to earn easy money in a similar way and he created fake Skype accounts with false names and designated roles like ‘Michael Brake’ as HR, ‘Ronald’ as Hiring Expert, ‘Jason’ as Technical Expert, ‘Roy Reny’ as Legal Expert’ etc... to contact the job aspirants in the site and he contacted Rahul who is a Digital Marketing expert from Punjab and took online digital marketing services from him.

“Through Skype Ids he has contacted many people and made them false promises that, he will provide US onsite job visas and gave them directions to open new bank accounts various banks and collected the credential and internet banking kits containing along with Registered mobile no, SIM card, cancelled Cheque, in the name of Indus Global Law Firm through DTDC courier,” he said.

Further, the accused developed a furniture website using the credentials of Shivendra Singh Rana.

During the COVID-19 lockdown when many people faced highly crises for the purchase of groceries offline, he created two websites and cheated people. The websites were developed on the advice of Rahul, Mr. Sajjanar said.

People across the country including nine victims from Cyberabad Commissionerate have visited these fake websites and got cheated. Police seized ₹40 lakh in cash, two mobile phones, two laptops, 20 debit cards and six bank passbooks from his possession.

Mr. Sajjanar further advised people not to believe in websites providing high discounts and don’t pay money in advance for getting the goods online. “Do not believe in the websites which offers to sale goods for much cheaper than the market price and if you get any suspicion please contact 9490617310 (Cyber Crime PS, Cyberabad) or WhatsApp no.9490617444,” he added.

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Printable version | Sep 20, 2021 5:58:29 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/mba-graduate-arrested-for-developing-fake-grocery-and-furniture-website/article35487938.ece

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