February 11, 2021 3:29:13 am
The Vadodara Cyber Crime on Wednesday detained two persons, both natives of Haryana, for allegedly creating a fake social media account, ‘Rajendra Trivedi Fan Club’, and demanding money from unsuspecting followers of the state Assembly Speaker.
According to police, Premal Modi, Trivedi’s aide, had approached the Cyber Crime on February 4 after it came to light that the impostor account had demanded money to the tune of Rs 15,000 from followers, to be paid to a mobile number via phone payment services.
The accused, Bholeram Sharma (30) and Manmohan Gupta (34), residents of Palwal in Haryana, have allegedly committed a series of such financial frauds using more than 800 mobile numbers, police said.
The modus operandi used by the men involved opening bank accounts in the name of other persons and offering them 5 per cent commission from the money collected by sending fraudulent messages on social networking sites which are deposited into the accounts of such persons. To hide their identity, the duo collected a big stash of SIM cards from various states and used them depending on the state their next target belonged to.
Police said the duo had created several fake fan pages or accounts of well-known public figures and committed similar the offences. The Crime Branch came across 800 mobile phone numbers that the duo had used so far to commit such crimes and amass money.
Deputy Commissioner of Police, Crime Branch, Jaydeepsinh Jadeja said, “Based on the technical investigation of the number mentioned in the fake fan page the accused created, we traced them to Palwal in Haryana. Combined with human intelligence, we arrested Bholeram first and he led us to Manmohan, also a resident of Haryana.”
Modi, in his statement to the police, stated, “On Thursday, I was present at the office of Rajendra Trivedi when several of our friends began calling me and told me that a fake social media fan page, which also used a profile picture of Trivedi saheb, had sought financial help of Rs 15,000 through a phone payment application. When we verified the claim, we realised that a fake fan page, resembling our official page, had been created. There were also abusive messages sent out from this fake profile to people.”
The Vadodara cybercrime has lodged an offence against unidentified persons under Indian Penal Code sections 499 (defamation), 504 (provocation to break the public peace), 120 B (criminal conspiracy) and also the Information Technology Act 66(c) for fraudulent or dishonest use of electronic signature and identity, and 66(d) for cheating by personation by using computer resource.
Jadeja added the duo would be arrested formally after the mandatory Covid-19 test reports are negative.
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