Luck ran out for a fake astrologer operating online from Jalandhar in Punjab after he was arrested for allegedly cheating a man here of about Rs 13 lakh by promising a cure for his depression through poojas, police said on Thursday.
The accused Akash Bhargav alias Akash Sharma (19) was brought here on a transit warrant and remanded in judicial custody, a police release said.
Acting on a complaint lodged by the victim’s mother in August, police apprehended Sharma from his house in Jalandhar, the release said.
The victim, who lost his job as a techie, approached Sharma online hoping for a cure to his depression after facing issues in his office and family.
When he contacted the fake astrologer, the latter demanded an initial sum of Rs 2,000 to perform a pooja and then sought more money leading to a total of Rs 12.97 lakh which was asked to be deposited in different bank accounts, the release said.
The victim was pressured to part with a lot more money for special poojas, until his mother finally approached police.
Investigations revealed that Sharma’s father was a petty astrologer, and he got the idea of making easy money by cheating people through online.
Sharma had opened eight websites and whenever any victim contacted him through e-mail or phone he would send messages seeking details about their problems, the release said.
Later, he would demand huge fees to perform poojas for the wellbeing of the victims, it added.