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Tuesday, April 23 2024
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Uttarakhand

Vegetable Vendor Scams ₹21 Crore in Fake Work-From-Home Jobs: Arrested

In a shocking turn of events, Rishabh Sharma, a 27-year-old vegetable vendor, was arrested for defrauding people of an astounding ₹21 crore by pretending to offer work-from-home jobs.
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Uttarakhand: In a startling turn of events, a 27-year-old vegetable vendor named Rishabh Sharma has been arrested after swindling people out of a staggering ₹21 crore through fake work-from-home job offers. His fraudulent activities have not only left numerous victims in their wake but also resulted in direct involvement in 37 fraud cases across ten Indian states and played a role in an additional 855 cases. Rishabh Sharma’s arrest was made on October 28, marking a significant step towards bringing him to justice.

From Vegetable Vendor to Fraudster

Rishabh Sharma’s journey from a humble vegetable vendor to a seasoned scam artist is as unexpected as it is concerning. Reportedly, a few years ago, he ran a business selling fruits and vegetables in Faridabad. However, like many entrepreneurs, the COVID-19 pandemic inflicted massive financial losses on his business, forcing him to close shop. To make ends meet, Sharma turned to various work-from-home (WFH) opportunities over the following months.

According to Ankush Mishra, a police officer in Uttarakhand, Sharma’s path took a darker turn when he reunited with an old friend who was already involved in orchestrating online frauds. This ominous partnership propelled Sharma into the world of cybercrime, leading him to amass ₹21 crore in just six months through fraudulent activities.

Modus Operandi: Fake Work-From-Home Jobs

One of the scams Sharma is accused of is based on creating a fake website impersonating the renowned “Marriott Bonvoy” brand. His website, “marriotwork.com,” was deceptively similar to the official Marriott website, “marriot.com.” Sharma lured victims by offering a purported work-from-home opportunity, involving part-time employment to write reviews for the “Marriott Bonvoy” group of hotels.

The latest victim, a businessman based in Dehradun, fell prey to Sharma’s scheme, losing ₹20 lakh in the process. Sharma’s approach involved initially providing small sums to victims, gaining their trust, and then persuading them to invest larger sums, with promises of even greater returns. However, once the funds were invested, Sharma and his accomplices ceased all communication, leaving victims in a financial crisis.

Police Efforts and Lessons Learned

Rishabh Sharma’s arrest highlights the effectiveness of law enforcement efforts in combatting cybercrime. While Sharma believed he could evade the authorities, he was ultimately apprehended, underscoring the importance of vigilance and the rule of law in the digital age.

This case serves as a stark reminder that fraudsters can exploit individuals looking for WFH opportunities, making it crucial to verify the legitimacy of any such offers. It also emphasizes the significance of promptly reporting suspicious activities and engaging with law enforcement agencies when encountering potential scams.

The victims of Sharma’s fraudulent scheme were not only financially affected but also experienced the emotional distress associated with falling prey to such fraud. This case sends a powerful message that cybercriminals can be brought to justice, reinforcing the value of cybersecurity awareness and diligence among individuals and businesses in the online realm.

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