Fake online Dating Portal Busted: Cyber Crime Police under the City Commissionerate cracked a fake dating website case and arrested 26 persons including 23 women in Kolkata. Speaking to The Hindu from Kolkata on Saturday, Cyber Crime Inspector Gopinath said that all the 26 accused have been taken into custody and will be brought to Visakhapatnam in a day or two after the formalities for transit warrants are completed.
Fake online dating websites, most of them based in Kolkata, have gained prominence in recent years. These websites upload fake profiles of young women, and then advertise these profiles in order to lure gullible men into signing up for memberships by paying a large amount of money.
The case had come to light after a citizen from the city, who was working with an MNC, approached officials and said that he had been cheated of over Rs 18 lakh over a period of time, by being shown fake profiles of women, promising that he would get to meet them soon. (Fake Amazon Website)
“The accused would recruit women and say that they have a dating website and they would keep receiving calls. They would forward the calls to the women at the call center, who would talk to the men through the phone and WhatsApp, and send them fake profiles and photos of different women,” the police officer is seen saying.
The police also said that there were various ‘membership packages’ ranging from a few thousand rupees to Rs 2-3 lakh. “The goal is to make the man deposit as much money as he can to a bank account, the details of which would be provided to the women. But nobody would go to meet the man, they would continue to lure them via the phone,” the police officer added. In return, the women were promised high incentives where they could earn over Rs 20,000 in this manner.
The police also said that the accused ran several such offices in Kolkata. The police seized 3 laptops and close to 50 mobile phones, and got the details of an equal number of bank accounts. The police said that the accused had been taken into custody in Kolkata and the formalities for transit warrants, to bring them to Visakhapatnam, were underway. Investigation officials stated that given the magnitude of the racket, it could have duped many people across the country of several crores in this manner.