he would not show up and instead try to extract more money.
An Indian man was arrested for allegedly scamming more than 200 people by posing as a Covid-19 plasma donor.
He was arrested in Hyderabad, Telangana, on July 20, 2020.
Those who recover from Covid-19 produce antibodies, which gives them a much stronger resistance to reinfection. These antibodies can be used to treat severe cases of the virus via a transferral of blood plasma.
This makes blood plasma from recovered patients a proven but temporary treatment for Coronavirus.
This has increased plasma prices, subsequently creating a thriving black market. In some cases, 400ml of plasma has been sold for as high as Rs. 300,000 (£3,200).
Sandeep Reddy, aged 25, of Srikakulam, Andhra Pradesh, posed online as a recovered Covid-19 patient, conning families by claiming that he was able to donate plasma.
In some cases, he also pretended to sell antiviral drugs or Tocilizumab, an immunosuppressive drug.
Reddy first asked them to transfer approximately Rs. 5,000 (£52) for his travel expenses. Once the transfer was made, he would not show up and instead try to extract more money.
As the victims were busing looking after their ill family members, they often did not file police reports.
However, they explained their ordeal on Twitter where they tagged Hyderabad’s cybercrime police department.
According to G Chakravarthy, Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police, Reddy had just been released from prison.
The Indian man was previously convicted of two counts of theft in Visakhapatnam.
Reddy had completed a course in computer hardware networking but he claimed that unemployment had pushed him to crime.
In June, a man named Abdul Karim was accused of scamming the Assembly Speaker of the national capital city Delhi.
He followed a similar Modus Operandi to Reddy’s, meaning that he’d contact families in need, then disappearing or switch numbers after they’d transferred him money.
In February, a 27-year-old photographer in Hyderabad was caught scamming people and reportedly collected at least Rs. 50,000 (£530) under the pretence of creating a network of plasma donors.
On July 17, a list of plasma donors that went viral throughout social media in Hyderabad was revealed to be fake.
Another blood donors’ list from 2015 was mistakenly shared by social media users in Mumbai and Delhi in recent few days.
With 402,529 active cases and more than 724,577 recoveries, India has a recovery rate of 62.72 per cent, according to the Health Ministry.
India is currently the third worst-affected country when it comes to Covid-19, with a total 1,155,191 confirmed cases and 28,084 casualties.