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Uttarakhand cyber cell to reach out to Google on 'Char Dham heli scam'

Dehradun: The Uttarakhand cyber cell has decided to contact Google amid rising complaints of cyber fraud through fake chopper service booking websites for the Char Dham yatra. The development comes a day after police registered a case in Dehradun's Nehru colony area against an unidentified person for allegedly duping a city resident of Rs. 56,000 on the pretext of booking a heli service to the Kedarnath shrine.
The complainant, identified as Deepak Joshi, had searched for chopper service companies on Google. He visited the website of a "heli service" company - www.flypohight.com - where the mobile number of the accused was given as the company's customer care number. Assuming the authenticity of the website, Joshi transferred Rs. 56,000 to the bank account of the accused as an advance payment for the heli service to the revered shrine. Later, when the accused snapped all communication, Joshi realized he had been duped. According to the cell, a majority of the perpetrators were traced to the Nalanda and Nevada areas of Bihar.
One of the cyber cell officers involved in the investigation of such cases of cyber fraud said, "In almost all such cases, victims fall into the trap of cybercriminals after contacting them through fake websites that pop up on a Google search. Therefore, we have decided to write to the tech giant asking it to ensure that customer care numbers are only put up after verification."
Meanwhile, Ankush Mishra, DSP, cyber cell, said, "There are government-authorized heli service booking websites for the Char Dham Yatra. One should make bookings only through those websites. Secondly, one should keep in mind that a genuine customer care number would never be a private mobile number but a landline number or a toll-free number, usually starting with 1800," He also urged the people to refrain from transferring money or providing bank details to any unknown suspicious person.

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