A racket that entices young job seekers into paying large amounts of money by promising them well-paid jobs as gigolos has come to the attention of the Mumbai Police. Officers said while the victims mostly choose to remain silent due to the shame, the racket seems to be a widespread and organised one, and that scores of people have already been duped by the criminals.
One such victim reached out to the police on Monday through a friend, after being cheated of ₹40,000 earlier this month.
The victim, whose name has been withheld to protect his identity, stays in the western suburbs and is currently looking for a job. The victim had uploaded his details on online job portals. Earlier this month, he was contacted by a person calling himself Akash, who said he had a lucrative job for him. Through patient conversations over the next several days, Akash convinced the victim that he was part of Playboy Club Service Pvt. Ltd..
“My friend contacted me on Sunday and was very tense. He told me that he had paid ₹40,000 to this person as deposit for membership of this supposed club. Now they are asking for a further payment of ₹40,000,” the victim’s friend told The Hindu , adding the victim is yet to reach a decision on filing a formal complaint.
The perpetrators of the fraud also shared a certificate, supposedly issued by the Gigolo India Pvt. Ltd..
“This is to certify that Playboy Club Service Pvt Ltd, one of the agency of Gigolo working since 2010 has done the work and provided simple earning jobs for the people,” the certificate says. What has the police concerned is that the certificate carries a Government of India stamp.
A Mumbai Crime Branch officer said such rackets surface periodically and prey on people looking for sexual escapades. In April 2017, the Cyber police had arrested five people who claimed to be running clubs for casual sex and dating, even offering to set up hotel rooms. The gang is believed to have conned over 2,000 people over several months till they were busted.
“The racket in April was busted after some senior police officers received text messages inviting them to be part of the dating clubs. Typically, the perpetrators go incommunicado after milking the victims for all that they can spare. The victims never report it as it would mean admitting to seeking sexual escapades, and the stigma that comes with it. Unless we get specific complaints or information, detecting such rackets is challenging, more so because the perpetrators use scores of bank accounts and ewallets making tracing them difficult,” the officer said.