A gang of five members was on Tuesday arrested by the Ghaziabad police in Uttar Pradesh for allegedly cheating nearly a thousand people by luring them with fake male escort job openings, a report stated.
The police also busted a call centre being run from a flat in Shastri Nagar here for carrying out the fake job racket, according to Hindustan Times.
Young men from as far as Tamil Nadu and Kerala apart from NCR and eastern Uttar Pradesh were lured with pictures of young women for ‘tie-ups’ to apply for the job, the police told HT.
The modus operandi of the gang was to hire space on a classified booking website and invite applications from interested young men. They would then be asked to deposit a 'processing fee' to the tune of Rs 10,000-15,000. There were instances of the deposit being as high as Rs 10 lakh, the report said.
“They duped nearly 1,000 persons who paid ‘processing fees’. Once the amount was credited to their online wallet, they would send pictures of young women to the applicants and ask them to select one of them. The photos were downloaded from profiles of women on social networking sites,” Akash Tomar, superintendent of police (SP city) told HT.
“The applicants were told to go to the gym for fitness exercises before being sent to the women. In between, the gang would block the applicants’ numbers. We got in touch with a number of people but they were not ready to come forward as their families would know they were interested in such a job. But nearly a dozen complaints arrived and we started the investigation,” the official added.
The police are verifying if the gang had access to any such ‘women customers’, the report further said.
The police have arrested one Ashu Chaudhary who ran the call centre, besides Himanshu Sharan, Harsh Chaudhary, Virat Chaudhary and Mohit Chaudhary in connection with a FIR lodged at Kavi Nagar police station by a complainant.
The case was lodged under sections of cheating and provisions of The Information Technology Act.
The police recovered laptops, mobiles, ATM cards and different mobile SIM cards from the suspects. They will also bid to invoke provisions of the Gangster Act against the five accused, they told HT.