A 19-year-old boy has been arrested in Bankura on Thursday for allegedly cheating people by posting fake advertisements on an online trading portal and convincing them to make payments to a bank account against false assurances of delivering the products advertised.
Police said they had received a complaint from a person who was cheated of Rs 37,999 through the online trading portal. “The accused had posted a fake advertisement in the name of M/s Mescab India Ltd on the portal, offering to sell different products at a discounted price. Some phone numbers were given in the advertisement that customers could contact.
The complainant fell into the trap and ordered goods worth almost Rs 38,000,” said an officer of the cyber cell of the Kolkata police. The complainant was asked to transfer the money to a bank account. “When the complainant did not get the product he had paid for, he lodged a complaint.
During the investigation, we found that the money that was deposited in the bank account had been transferred through multiple bank accounts and finally withdrawn in Bankura,” said the officer. The police said they found that all the bank accounts through which the money had been transferred were opened with fake KYC documents and the youth, whom cops identified as Ramprasad Sarkar, was allegedly operating all the accounts.
Although only one person had lodged a complaint, from the pattern of the transactions in the banks, it appeared that several others have been duped in a similar way, said an officer. Sarkar was produced at a city court on Friday and remanded in police custody.
An officer said they seized a hard disc, 286 SIM cards of different telecom companies, five debit cards, a fingerprint scanner, a cheque book and Rs 5.91 lakh in Rs 500 notes.
An officer in Lalbazar said the problem with several online trading portals is they do not have any means to verify the credentials of the people buying or selling products. “Ideally, the portal should have a mechanism to check if someone who had advertised on the portal is genuine or trying to cheat others.”