Lucknow: The three have now been arrested, but it is believed that they earned around Rs. 5crore in the ‘business’, said police sources.
The group made replicas of websites of major companies and gave out fake franchises to people in return for money.
Those arrested on Tuesday include Vivekananda, an alumnus of a private MBA college in Bhopal, Shivendra, a B.Tech graduate from a Gurugram private institute and Sachidananda, a science graduate from the Magadh University.
All three are natives of Bihar.
According to police, Vivekananda joined hands with his brother Sachidananda after he lost his job during the pandemic. Techie Shivendra also joined in.
The cyber cell nabbed the gang after one Devrat Chaturvedi was duped of Rs. 3 lakh in the name of allotting the franchisee of a famous snack company in Lucknow’s Aashiana locality.
While working on the case, the cyber cell also got a similar complaint from Jaunpur, where businessman Vinod Gupta was duped of Rs. 2 crore on the pretext of allotting him the franchisee of a US auto company.
ACP cyber cell, Vivek Ranjan Rai, said, “Vivekananda and Sachidananda roped in Shivendra who used to design websites akin to original ones and in return, was given a heavy share of the money earned.”
To appear genuine, the gang members used to pose as top bosses of the company and talk to people.
The ACP said, “The bank accounts in which the gang asked victims to transfer money were all based in Maharashtra, Delhi or metropolises like Bengaluru.”
“We will take all three on remand to know more about the case,” he said.
Two more members of the gang — Kanhaiya Kumar and Suman Kumar — are absconding.