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Online fraudsters duped 7 lakh people of ₹3,700 crore

Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force (STF) on Thursday busted an alleged online trading scam worth over Rs 3,700 crore in which nearly seven lakh people were duped on the pretext of getting money in lieu of clicking on specific links.

STF detected the fraud by Noida-based Ablaze Info Solutions Private Limited which was operating through online portal http://Socialtrade.biz and later changed to http://Frenzzup.com, a senior police official said here.

Those arrested were identified as Anubhav Mittal of Ghaziabad, Shreedhar Prasad of Noida and Mahesh Dayal of Mathura, Uttar Pradesh.

The task force has also sealed the bank accounts of the company, based in Sector 63 here, which had a total balance of Rs 500 crore, the Special Task Force's SSP Amit Pathak said.

The company used to lure gullible people by asking them to take their package from Rs 5,750 to Rs 57,500 and earn money by liking pages and clicking on the links they sent.

"The company offers Rs 5 per like to investors and claim they used to get Rs 6 from the concerned companies for every like. However, the links sent to them were fake "We have reported the matter to the income tax department and further investigation is on. Moreover, we have made an appeal to all the victims of the scam to report the matter to us and claim for the compensation," added Pathak.

During the probe, it was found that over 6.5 lakh people had deposited over Rs 3,726 crore in the company's accounts using over nine lakh ids.

The STF got a clue after investors started alleging that they were not getting the money after which detailed probe was initiated.

STF said that the scam mastermind Anubhav Mittal, a software engineer, started the business of software development from his college hostel room and later set his sights on bigger things. Shreedhar Prasad and Mahesh Dayal joined him later.

In 2010 Mittal set up a company which earned Rs 3-4 lakh per annum till 2015 after which he floated socialtrade.biz online portal for the fraud.

STF has also informed RBI, Income Tax department and SEBI for further action in this regard.

Raj Kumar Mishra, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Special Task force said, "Following a complaint lodged by an investor, of being duped by a company named Ablaze Info Solutions Limited, we started our investigation. By tracking their web portals and bank accounts we got some vital clues. Further investigations revealed that the company was located in Noida Sector-63, had duped around 6 lakh people and extracted Rs 3,726 crore from them under the 'Earn Rs 5 per click' scheme".
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