CHENNAI: Policemen from the Adyar Cyber Cell on Wednesday arrested a 48-year-old man who allegedly swindled money by offering transport services on an online portal. The police also asked the public to be cautious as portals that serve as intermediaries may rope in people without conducting background checks.
The accused, E Jayakumar (48), from Kosapettai, paid Rs 7,000 per month to IndiaMart, an e-commerce company, to place his fake company at the top of search results. Such incidents raise concerns that online commercial portals that act as platforms for buyers and sellers exploit Section 79 of the Information Act, which provides intermediaries exemption from liability.
The victim, Karthikeyan (45), from Guindy, needed trucks to transport goods from the factory he works at. On April 16, he searched on IndiaMart, and came across a company based out of Poonjeri in Mamallapuram. “Since the company had good ratings and was listed on top, Karthikeyan contacted Jayakumar, who promised to send two trucks and asked for Rs 30,000 to be paid in advance,” said a police officer.
However, once the money was transferred electronically, Jayakumar’s mobile phone was switched off. Realising he had been conned, Karthikeyan lodged a complaint with the Adyar Cyber Cell, and a special team of police nabbed Jayakumar.
The police said Jayakumar earlier worked at a furniture company in Triplicane, and after losing the job, he registered himself on online portals under a fake logistics company, to cheat people. Since he was paying the portal, they listed him on top without checking the authenticity of his company.
“It is important that people do not fall for ratings and top listings on portals that serve as intermediates between buyers and sellers. People should verify the authenticity of services before availing them,” said V Vikraman, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Adyar.