Vegetable vendor becomes cyber scammer ; deceives individuals out of Rs 21 crore in just 6 months

Vegetable vendor becomes cyber scammer ; deceives individuals out of Rs 21 crore in just 6 months

Vegetable vendor becomes cyber scammer ; deceives individuals out of Rs 21 crore in just 6 months - Pune Pulse

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By: Pune Pulse

November 4, 2023

Pune: Former vegetable seller, Rishabh Sharma faced financial losses during the covid 19 pandemic and resorted to deceitful work-from-home scams leading to a negative turn of events.

According to a report, Rishabh successfully deceived individuals of Rs 21 crore within a mere six-month period. He emerged as a prominent figure in 37 instances of fraud spanning across 10 states in India and additionally aided in 855 other fraudulent activities.

As per the information received, on October 28, the authorities apprehended Sharma due to his utilization of bank accounts to transfer funds. What adds to the astonishment is the possibility that he may have collaborated with criminal organizations from foreign nations, such as China and Singapore, employing covert techniques to facilitate the movement of money.

Recently, Rishabh was a humble vendor of vegetables in Faridabad. However, due to the outbreak of the pandemic, he was compelled to close down his business. To provide for his family, he explored various remote job options. It was during this time that he reconnected with an old acquaintance who was already engaged in fraudulent activities online.

This acquaintance provided him with a compilation of telephone numbers, which Rishabh utilized to randomly contact individuals. He would present them with deceitful employment prospects that appeared exceptionally enticing. Regrettably, his most recent target happened to be a Dehradun-based businessman who suffered a financial loss of Rs 20 lakh.

Sharma employed a deceptive strategy by creating a counterfeit website resembling the official Marriott Bonvoy hotel’s website. He deceitfully offered part-time employment opportunities to individuals for composing reviews on behalf of the hotel chain. Posing as a representative of Marriott Bonvoy, he introduced his victims to his accomplice, Sonia, who falsely claimed to be employed by one of the hotels.

To further deceive victims, Sharma established a fake Telegram group. Within this group, he instructed them to compose favourable reviews for the hotel and respond to inquiries from fictitious guests. Initially, he gained their trust by remunerating them with Rs 10,000. Subsequently, he manipulated them into investing larger sums of money by promising substantial returns. However, once individuals had invested significant amounts, Rishabh vanished, rendering himself unreachable to his victims.

The authorities have pressed charges against Rishabh for fraudulent activities and various other offences. It has been revealed that this fraudulent scheme is linked to criminal organizations in foreign nations. These organizations recruit individuals in India to establish bank accounts for illicit funds, which are then covertly transferred to other countries.

Sharma’s apprehension has shed light on the magnitude of this issue for the police. They have discovered his involvement in numerous cases spanning across 10 states. The authorities face a significant challenge in tackling these intricate scams as they strive to apprehend the culprits.