“Hello, this is a one time invitation call to become a member of the Gigolo Club of India,” is how the girl on the other side of the phone will introduce herself to unsuspecting people, and then go on to explain the details of what the gigolo or male escort will be required to do.
Calls such as these have become very common in Delhi, which according to police, is the newest way of cheating adapted by gangs who want to cheat people through this modified version of “honey-trap”.
This correspondent posed as an interested member and dialled one of the Maharashtra registered mobile numbers from which people in Delhi, mostly in the age group of 30-50 years have been receiving such calls.
The call was answered by a girl, who said she was one of the “service” managers of the club.
According to her, a person becoming a member of this club will have to provide “service” to a “madam from high society”. Such persons can earn Rs 40,000 to Rs 50,000 for a three hour “service” and were required to give three such “services” in a week.
This correspondent managed to strike a conversation with the “service manager’, who after getting convinced that the reporter had fallen into the trap, shared details of the modus-operandi of the business model they follow. The woman on the other side said they make such calls to random people.
“We get the number of people from shops in malls, online websites where people like you leave their numbers. There is a separate agency that supplies us such numbers. We have four service managers who call at least 300 people daily and on an average 100-120 people see the ‘opportunity’ in this business, which provides both money and pleasure, and decide to become our member. We charge 20% of the fees that every male escort receives and there is a one time charge of Rs 4,500 to join our club,” she said.
This whole charade, in order to convince that the person that he was truly being considered for the job of male escort, was done very professionally by the service manager. The woman asked for the height, weight, skin colour and other intimate details of the correspondent and after getting convinced that he matched their criteria, confirmed that the correspondent was eligible for this “job”.
The next step in this whole drama is where the person is cheated.
After getting convinced that the correspondent was now desperate to become a member, this service manager sent her HDFC savings account number with the IFSC code of the branch. She then said that once Rs 4,500 is deposited in the account, the correspondent will become a member of the club. After this he will receive an SMS containing his unique ID code, his new name (which according to her could be something like Rome-on-prowl, Sturdy-jack, long-hammer) and the details of the “madam” and her unique id.
The economics of this cheating scam, if one goes by the claims of this “service manager”, is baffling. If 100 people join this club every day and pay Rs 4,500 for the membership fee, then the cheats behind this club are earning Rs 1.35 crore every month.
The fact that these cheats are operating a savings bank account in a private bank, also raises questions on the attitude of the private banks regarding the Know Your Customer (KYC) norms which entail keeping an eye on such “bogus” transfers and checking the antecedent of the operators of such suspicious bank accounts.