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Two held for duping people by offering installation of Airtel's network devices

Press Trust of India  |  Noida (UP) 

Two men have been arrested for allegedly duping around 200 people of Rs five crore by offering installation of Airtel's network devices on their premises in return for commission, the Uttar Pradesh STF said on Saturday.

The duo, residents of Delhi and operating a fake call centre from Noida, were held on Friday by the Special Task Force (STF), a senior official said.

Accused Shubham Mishra and Pankaj Kumar, both in their 20s, were also in illegal possession of personal data of one lakh people, he said.

"They would call up people across the country and lure them with offers for installing Airtel's 'Digital Data Machine' on their premises, which work like mobile phone towers but occupy less space. They would lure the targets with a Rs 30 lakh one-time commission and Rs 65,000 monthly rental for the work. When somebody would accept their offer they would eventually ask for money citing GST, service charge and state transactions," Additional Superintendent of Police, STF, Vishal Vikram Singh told PTI.

He said the concept of such a digital machine is hypothetical, and added that the duo also duped some people by offering to "double their money" or "insurance schemes" and investment in IPOs.

The officer said the Uttar Pradesh Police had recently received a complaint of fraud by the duo by a resident of Unnao district, near Lucknow, who claimed Rs 20 lakh fraud with him, following which the STF was assigned the task.

"During probe, it emerged that the accused had also created a website -- service@bhartairtel.co -- after purchasing the domain from 'GoDaddy' to deceive their targets. They were operating from an office in Sector 6 of Noida with a front of IT service provider," Singh said.

The Cyber Unit of STF Noida, which investigated the case, found that the group was active in Delhi-NCR and had also targeted people in Uttar Pradesh's Unnao, Greater Noida, Allahabad, Patna in Bihar, Mumbai, Assam, and Bangalore, duping between Rs 11 lakh and Rs 50 lakh from each target.

The duo was held on Friday from its Noida office and the STF has recovered Rs one lakh cash along with computer systems, crucial documents from the site, he said.

A case has been registered against the accused in Unnao and they have been charged under Indian Penal Code sections for fraud and forgery of documents, Singh said.

They have also been booked under the Information Technology Act, he added.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, August 10 2019. 21:10 IST
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