Hindustan Times (Jammu)

Fake report, fake donors and packages for testing

- HT Correspond­ent letters@htlive.com

Fake covid-19 test reports, fake profile of plasma donors and selling of packages to get tested for Covid-19 infection are some of dirty tricks being used to extort money from people at a time when there is panic due to rising cases in Lucknow as well as other parts of the state, said police officials here on Tuesday.

They said it has become a new tool for some fraudsters who are extorting and minting money in the garb of providing different medical facilities and people are inadverten­tly getting duped.

Citing an example, a senior police official of Lucknow Commission­erate said two men identified as Shubham Gautam and Shivam Kushwaha, who had once worked with pathology, were arrested for providing fake Covid-19 test reports to people willing to procure it for travelling or other reasons.

He said the two fraudsters used the fake letter pad of a city’s diagnostic centre to issue fake test reports to over 50 people and charged around ₹900 from those who wanted a preferable report—people wanted negative report to travel to other states or board a flight. Many people sought negative report to visit hospitals for treatment of other ailments, he added.

The official said the two fraudsters landed in police net when the pathology owner received multiple calls from people due to delay in receiving reports. He said the duo was booked under IPC sections 188 for violating government orders, 467 for forging of documents, 468 for using forged documents for cheating purpose and 471 for using forged document as genuine.

An elderly person requesting anonymity said there was an urgent need of plasma for a serious Covid-19 infected patient when he came across some profiles of plasma donors on social media.

“We requested one of the plasma donors whose location was mentioned near-by Lucknow with help of some people. The person demanded charges for his travel to Lucknow to donate plasma and was paid ₹1000 through online services for it. The person did not turn up for the plasma donation and is unapproach­able since then,” he emphasised and added, “It was very small amount, so the police was not reported about the incident, but such practice is quite prevalent nowadays”.

Similarly, some Gomti Nagar residents alleged a private hospital was minting money from people in the name of providing a full package for the family after giving inconclusi­ve report to people coming for testing.

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