Gang selling fake franchises of popular brands held by Cyberabad Police
Fake franchise gang whose members are accused of cheating innocent people under the guise of setting up franchises of reputed brands and establishments through fake websites
HYDERABAD: Cyber Crime Police, Cyberabad nabbed a fake franchise gang whose members are accused of cheating innocent people under the guise of setting up franchises of reputed brands and establishments through fake websites. This gang was operating from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
Collecting details of individuals interested in getting a dealership through fake websites, they promise their subjects franchises at attractive prices and collect payments under the garb of franchise fees, agreement fees, NOC, fee for interior, woodwork infrastructure setup etc.
In this case, fraudsters created fake KFC websites and using them cheated a person by assuring him of setting up of a KFC franchise at Bachupally, Cyberabad and looted Rs.94,95,538.
Commissioner of Police of Cyberabad Stephen Raveendra explained the details of the case.
The gang established an office at Noida in Uttar Pradesh and through their technical associates they created fake KFC websites which are
Through Google, Facebook and YouTube advertisements, they popularise their websites for trapping victims over Internet. If any individual evinces interest in setting up a franchise, the gang communicates with them over calls and emails, convincing them that it is an original deal and trick them into making payments for reasons mentioned above.
To bluff the victims, the accused procured “022” STD land line virtual number to communicate with victims, which belongs to Mumbai region of Maharashtra while operating from Noida. They impersonate as company executives (Account Manager, Senior Manager, etc.) and make conversations over fake emails and acknowledge victims’ payment with fake invoices.
The arrested accused have also developed other fake websites of well-known brands like IFFCO, ITC, TATA 1MG, Herbal Ayurveda, Jockey etc. for other fraudsters and would popularise them by running adverts. They promote these websites as well as share details of victim’s leads generated through the website to fraudsters.
ACCUSED DETAILS WITH ROLES REVEALED IN THIS CASE
1. Rakesh Kumar @ Aditya Singh: A1 Rakesh Kumar, also known as Aditya Singh, is the mastermind of this crime. He procured a rental space office, recruited Khalid (A2) for website development, and also recruited Gagan @ Pankaj (A4) and Roshini Singh Goutam @ Arpitha Singh (A6) for tele-calling, along with Yugender (A3) for running ads through SEO.
He instructed Khalid to develop a website on KFC franchise and through Yugender, collected victim data. He along with his tele-callers convinced the victims for initiation of payment for the allocation of Franchise in the name of Franchise fee, Agreement Fee, NOC, Fee for Interior, and woodwork infrastructure setup. He trained tele-callers by providing calling formats. He also shared mule bank accounts to the victims and got transfers done into them. He created trust in the victim that the process is genuine by sending confirmation emails through the email created using KFC fake domain. He also deputed someone to make a visit to the site for site confirmation and initiated the interior work at the site.
2. Mohammad Khalid: A2 Mohammad Khalid is a freelance website developer who was recruited by Rakesh Kumar (also known as Aditya Singh) to develop fake websites including KFC. He was instructed by Rakesh to develop the website on the domains: 1) kfcfranchiseinternational.com & 2) kfcfranchiseindia.com, which was used to collect victim data. He completed the development of the website and handed it over to Rakesh. The website, designed to look like a genuine KFC franchise website, collected personal and financial information from victims who registered for the franchise. This information was then used by Rakesh and his associates to cheat the victims by making fraudulent transactions in their names.
3. Yogender Kumar: A3 Yogender Kumar was recruited by the accused Rakesh Kumar to run ads through Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for the fraudulent KFC franchise scheme. When victims entered the website developed by Khalid and registered themselves for the franchise, Yogender would collect their data and pass it on to Rakesh. He would run ads on Google to attract victims to the website.
4. Pankaj Sarswat @ Gagan: A4 Pankaj Sarswat, also known as Gagan, was recruited by Rakesh Kumar to work as a tele-caller for the fraudulent KFC franchise scheme. Along with Arpitha, another tele-caller, he impersonated KFC business executives and convinced victims to make payments for franchise allocation, franchise fees, agreement fees, NOC, and infrastructure setup. He and Arpitha shared the mule bank accounts with the victims and made them transfer money into these accounts. They also kept in touch with the victims and shared other mule bank accounts for further payments.
5. Sarita: A5. Sarita is the wife of Rakesh Kumar (also known as Aditya Singh). She acts as one of the tele-callers who contacted the victims by using a forwarded number (022-35155976) to make these calls.
6. Roshini Singh Goutam @ Arpitha Singh: A6 Roshini Singh Gautam, also known as Arpitha Singh, is one of the suspects in the case. She worked as a tele-caller and her role was to make calls to the victims impersonating as KFC Business Executives and convince the victims for initiation of payment for the allocation of Franchise. She shared mule bank accounts to the victims and made transfers into them.
1. Mobile phones – 7
2. Laptops –03
4. LED projector-01
5. Cheque books, Debit Cards, SIM cards
6. Data of fake websites created
Citizens are advised to verify the genuineness of the websites shown on internet by visiting their corporate offices.
Citizens are advised to check the original name & IFSC code of the bank accounts provided through concern banks. A legitimate Company will not have its customers pay money for official purposes into personal accounts.
Citizens are also advised to learn the process of establishing franchises.
Do not make transactions before verifying originality of the deal.