Crime-Justice

Men pose as army, BSF personnel to cheat people on OLX in Chandigarh

October 29, 2018 11:59 AM

The fraudsters also sent what appeared to be genuine identity as well as Aadhaar cards to gullible people in the city
Punjab News Express
CHANDIGARH: They say they are army or Border Security Force personnel posted in remote areas and strike deals with gullible consumers on online marketing sites for iPhones and other expensive electronics products. Trusting these men in uniform the victims transfer money online for the products, only to realise later that they have been duped, say officials of the UT cyber crime unit.

Deluged with such complaints of late, especially on online platform OLX, the officials say they have received over a 100 such complaints in the past few months.

The modus operandi is virtually the same. Most of the fraudsters dupe people by pretending to be defence personnel or from the paramilitary forces posted in the remote areas of Rajasthan.

Most of them also sent what appeared to be genuine identity as well as Aadhaar cards and other documents.

In an FIR, Aman Kumar, working with the Food Corporation of India in Sector 31, says he saw an advertisement at online marketplace OLX from a man with the account name ‘Rahul,’ selling an iPhone 6. “On dialling the number given at the account the caller identified himself as Somnath Giri, a sepoy in the Indian Army posted at Jaisalmer (Rajasthan). He even sent a fake ID card to me,” Kumar said.

“A deal was fixed by Aman Kumar at ₹12,500 and an additional amount of ₹1,550 for courier was to be given through Paytm. A fake picture of the courier receipt of a private company in Sector 47 was sent to me, after which I made complete payment through Paytm that included security and GST charges of ₹5,000 to the fraudster to get the phone delivered. It’s been over a month nothing was delivered,” the FIR said.

Another victim, businessman BS Bisht, 45, said his son wanted a second-hand iPhone as it was cheaper. “My 16-year-old son saw an iPhone exchange offer on the OLX site. The fraudster said he was an Army man from Jodhpur and asked my son to pay ₹16,000 for an iPhone 8-plus in exchange of old version of the brand.” Fake ID, Aadhar cards and photographs of his seniors were also sent to Bisht’s son to win his trust.

“It has been three months since I made the payment along with the additional charges amounting to ₹20,000. We haven’t received any phone till now and have given a complaint in the cyber crime,” Bisht said.

About 90% of the cases registered with them are of fraudsters acting as Army men.

“There are many ways in which people are being duped on the OLX site. People should keep in mind that any kind of extra special discount on an in-demand item should not be availed as most likely it will be a case of fraud,” warns deputy superintendent of police, cyber crime unit, Rashmi Yadav.

“Preliminary investigations show that in some cases an organised gang is behind the fraud but there are individual defaulters as well. We have quizzed OLX people about the issue to help investigate the matter, Yadav adds.

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