October 27, 2019 10:27:15 am
The Ahmedabad Cyber Crime Police has lodged a case of cheating based on the complaint of a city-based person who was duped of Rs 45,000 by an unknown person who allegedly used a fake website of Domino’s Pizza and tried to sell the victim a “franchise” of the company.
Cyber Crime officials said that 23-year-old Ahmedabad-based businessman Shrey Panchal said in his complaint recently that a person claiming to be a representative of Domino’s Pizza had sought Rs 45,000 from him as “registration fees” to open a franchise of the pizza chain in Ahmedabad.
The victim also contacted Jubilant Foodworks Limited, which holds the master franchise of Domino’s India, regarding the alleged fraud, after which a first information report was lodged at Ahmedabad Cyber Crime Police station at the behest of the company on October 23.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Panchal said that he contacted the accused on a toll-free number he found on a website http://www.dominosfranchises.com. In reality, the genuine web domain of Dominos India is www.
“When I clicked on the website, I found a toll-free number where I called and inquired regarding how to own a franchise of Domino’s Pizza in Ahmedabad,” Panchal said. “I was contacted by a person who introduced himself as ‘Vipul Sharma, the supervisor manager of Dominos India’.
He said that the registration charge would come around Rs 45,000 and advance would be Rs 3,75,000. He gave me a bank account number where I submitted Rs 45,000. We stayed in touch for one month, where he kept demanding that I transfer the advance amount as well,” he added. “It was only recently that I realised that a fraud has been done, when I contacted Jubilant Foodworks Limited and they informed me that they don’t sell franchises and that there is no person called Vipul Sharma in their company.”
Police have lodged a case of fraud and breach of trust as per Indian Penal Code sections 420 and 406 respectively against an unknown person. Although police currently have the bank account number and its IFSC code to which Panchal had transferred the money, they are investigating further before they can release the details.
The police said they are not releasing details of the account holder as, in many instances, fraudsters use the bank account numbers of unsuspecting elderly persons who are known to them to carry out such illegal activity. The police also suspect that there might be a bigger network of fraudsters involved in this type of scam as the accused used a toll-free number to dupe the clients. It takes a minimum of Rs 20,000 rent per six months to open a basic toll-free number starting with the digits 1800.
“We are using surveillance to find out the location of the accused and our probe is going on,” an official of the Cyber Crime Branch said.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.