Seven persons including six women were arrested on charges of cheating people by running a fake online friendship club. They were arrested from Shastribagan in Baguiati.
Acting on a tip off, officers from the Cyber Crime cell of the Bidhannagar Commissionerate conducted a raid in their hideout from where they used to call various people over phone and arrested the accused. A few days ago, a resident of Dankuni in Hogghly had lodged a complaint that she was being cheated by a group after assuring to give membership of a friendship club.
Investigation revealed that the accused had given advertisement in various newspapers stating that they help getting membership is such clubs and their mobile phone numbers were also provided.
The complaint had contacted them after getting the phone numbers from a newspaper. The accused had asked the person to deposit Rs 1,500 in a bank account to get the membership. Later the complainant had deposited Rs 13 lakh in the same account number. But the accused had never given membership in any club.
Preliminary investigation revealed that they were running the racket for the past 3 years and they had cheated around 3000 such people, said a police officer. Police seized 16 mobile phones, 25 SIM cards of different service providers, bank passbook and ATM cards.
The women who were arrested used to work as tele-caller against a huge payment. Their main task was to convince the people over phone to deposit money in the bank account as per their direction. Once a person deposited the initial, amount, they used to ask them to deposit more. Most of the arrested persons are youth and they got involved in the crime to make fast money.