Hundreds of gullible men have fallen victim to an elaborate ‘impregnation’ scam after being offered ‘huge pay days’ to spend a night in a hotel with a childless woman – as long as they hand over a big deposit.
The ‘All India Pregnant Job’ internet scam has seen men across the country lured in with pictures and videos of ‘beautiful, married’ women, under the false pretence that they will help them to get pregnant.
Men are encouraged to pay up to be registered for the role and to guarantee they can sleep with the woman they choose – before scammers cut off contact with them and make off with their cash.
The racket has seen eight people arrested, with the suspected ringleader said to be among more than a dozen other fraudsters who have reportedly absconded.
Facebook is awash with videos of young women seemingly advertising the service, with WhatsApp contact details included in posts encouraging men to get in contact to apply for the fake job.
Adverts on social media show men and women discussing the dodgy scheme and include telephone numbers for people to call
Women pretend to need help conceiving and offer money to ‘gullible’ men to spend a night with them
‘Meet a beautiful, married woman of your choice, enter into a physical relationship with her for baby-making,’ one advert is said to promise.
‘Get paid 13 lakh (around £13,000) if the woman gets pregnant. If it fails, still pocket 5 lakh for your efforts. Discretion assured.’
In another video, men are promised payment if they can give the woman ‘the pleasure of becoming mother’.
Some of the videos show men and women discussing the service and flashing wads of banknotes, while at least one video shows a woman handing a man a stack of cash.
Those who have fallen prey to the scammers never end up meeting with the women in the adverts and receive none of the promised payments – instead being swindled out of their own money.
Officials told India Today that scammers manipulated victims into parting with their money by creating a sense of urgency, telling them that others had chosen the same woman to sleep with as they had and that it was ‘first come first serve’.
Police say the scheme has been operated by a gang in Bihar, northeast India, for a year, with evidence that it is still operating visible across social media.
One victim said he was provided with an official-looking document by the fraudsters, which included his picture and a photo of a police officer
Kalyan Anand, the Deputy superintendent of police who heads the cyber cell in the state’s Nawada district, said that hundreds of men have been defrauded but that no victims have come forward.
‘The gang has been active for a year and we believe they have conned hundreds of people, but no one has so far come forward to complain, possibly because of shame,’ he explained.
People from across India have fallen victim to the scam, including men from Dehli, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and elsewhere.
As well as adverts on Facebook, police said scammers managed to get hold of men’s personal data and contact them directly about getting involved with the fake service.
Bihar police gave a press conference last week and displayed a number of phones they have confiscated
One victim told the BBC that soon after clicking on a video he was called by the scammers, who asked him to pay out 799 rupees (around £7.50) to register for the role.
He was promised 3 million rupees – almost £30,000 – equivalent to three years of his wages to sleep with a woman, plus 800,000 more rupees if she successfully conceived.
He was provided with an official-looking document by the fraudsters, which included his picture and a photo of a police officer.
It was titled ‘Baby Birth Agreement’ and dated and signed with a signature resembling that of US talk show host Oprah Winfrey.
The racket has seen eight people arrested, with the suspected ringleader among more than a dozen other fraudsters who have reportedly absconded
The labourer said he was poor and ‘desperately’ needed the money, so fell for the ploy.
Over subsequent weeks he reportedly forked out more and more cash, which he was told was needed to cover registration fees and taxes on his promised income.
Scammers kept him hooked by sending pictures of various women, asking which he would like to spend the night with.
He lost a full months salary before he told them he could not afford any more and asked for a refund.
Bihar authorities held a press conference last week in which they paraded the eight suspects arrested so far
Experts have said that a lack of social media awareness among many in India has meant the scam has proven highly successful for the fraudsters behind it.
Many of the victims are said to have low levels of education, while those perpetrating the scam are more highly educated and tech savvy.
Bihar authorities held a press conference last week in which they paraded the eight suspects arrested so far and showed a number of phones they have confiscated.
A huge operation to hunt down members of the fraud ring continues.