Two men have been arrested for allegedly duping more than 100 people into promising home delivery of alcohol and food during the lockdown, police said on Friday.
The defendants were identified as Tarif Khan (24) and Taufiq (22), both residents of Bharatpur district in Rajasthan, they said.
In his police complaint, the victim alleged he was deceived by a person of Rs 82,500, officials said.
The plaintiff was looking for food parcel delivery for a stationed retirement program and had contacted a cell phone number mentioned on the internet, promising home delivery to a renowned confectionery store, a senior police officer said.
The accused introduced himself as an employee of the food joint and sent a bar code to the complainant for prepayment. After scanning the barcode, 82,500 rupees were deducted from the complainant’s account in four different transactions, the officer said.
During the investigation, it was discovered that money had been transferred from a UPI ID to bank accounts registered at Mewat’s Punhana. Fake Odisha cell phone numbers were used in the crime, indicating locations in Mewat in Haryana, Bharatpur in Rajasthan and Khamman in Telangana, police said.
Mobile numbers have been kept under surveillance and the defendants have been intercepted near Agra, Uttar Pradesh, Deputy Police Commissioner (North) Anto Alphonse said.
Previously, the defendants used to cheat through online exchanges, but during the lockdown they learned that people were looking for alcohol while stores were closed. They uploaded cell phone numbers to various websites for home delivery of alcohol and food and cheated on people, the DCP said.
Tarif said he bought fake SIM cards in Gamri village in Bharatpur. He also bought a JCB machine from Telangana and was working with Taufiq to establish business there, police said.
A Maruti Breeza car (purchased with the fraudulent money), four cell phones, 28 SIM cards and 16,000 rupees were recovered in their possession, police said.