The Guntur police in Andhra Pradesh busted an online racket and arrested one person on Friday for creating a fake profile on a dating site and allegedly cheating more than 500 people to the tune of several lakh rupees.
The accused was identified as Suman Reddy, a native of Prakasam district in Andhra, who was presently living in Bengaluru after completing his MTech in an engineering college in Karnataka.
Speaking to reporters in Guntur on Friday, Urban Superintendent of Police Vijaya Rao said that the case came to light after one P Jagadish filed a complaint at the Nagarampalem police station under their jurisdiction that he had been cheated of Rs 19,500, following which officials began investigation.
Explaining his modus operandi, the police said that he would create fake profiles on dating site Locanto, with bogus details and use photos of different women. Police said that the app was encrypted and therefore, the accused felt more secure using it.
Additionally, the police said that Suman Reddy himself had been cheated in a similar way around six months ago, following which he decided to do the same and allegedly cheat others.
After befriending men via the app, Reddy would ask them to deposit a certain amount of money.
"He was doing these activities from Bengaluru and he mainly took digital payments via applications like PayTM, Bhim and PhonePe. Through these three apps, he would pretend to be a woman and lure gullible men to transfer money. After the transaction, he would turn off the phone and block the sims. He has cheated 507 people and earned Rs 21.58 lakh through this scam," Guntur Urban SP Vijaya Rao told reporters.
According to media reports, the police acted on a tip-off and took the accused into custody from a private hotel in Bengaluru.
Police said that they recovered Rs 8 lakh cash, a car, a laptop and three cell phones. The accused was booked under Section 420 (Cheating) of the Indian Penal Code and relevant sections of the Information Technology Act at the Nagarempalem police station.
The accused was presented in front of a local court on Friday which sent him to remand.