Cyber scammers have allegedly mimicked the website of the iconic Kayani Bakery in Pune and created a fraudulent Google listing in the bakery’s name to carry out a major scam. People placing online orders for various Kayani Bakery products through the mobile phone numbers displayed on google listing and the fake website have been losing money to the tune of thousands of rupees.
Owners of the Kayani Bakery have filed a complaint with the Pune city police against the online fraud being done using their brand name.
Paurushasp Kayani, one of the partners of Kayani Bakery said they have a genuine website “www.kayanibakerypune.com”. He pointed out a fake website “kayanibakeryonline.com” having images of the Kayani Bakery store on the East Street in Pune Camp, photographs of Kayani bakery products and a mobile number, which is allegedly used for conning people.
“Since December 2023, many people have been visiting us every day saying they have lost hundreds and thousands of rupees after making online payments for buying Kayani Bakery products. A couple of days before, a person who lost Rs 1.35 lakhs to the online scam came to the bakery. This was shocking. .We found that the scam is being done through a fraudulent Google listing in the name of Kayani Bakery, which also displays our products along with a contact number for receiving orders from people….. Kayani Bakery has nothing to do with the fraud. We accept payment only in our store by card and cash and through Zomato for delivery in Pune. We have no other online ordering portal, branches or franchises,” he said.
A staffer demonstrated how when a person types “Kayani Bakery” in Google search, the first thing that emerges on the screen is the fraudulent google listing in the bakery’s name, along with a phone number registered on the True Caller application as “Kayani Bakery”.
“People who call on this number to buy Kayani Bakery products are asked to place their order on WhatsApp. Then on the pretext of accepting money for the bakery products, the fraudsters play some tricks by sending QR scanners, OTP numbers to the people and take away hundreds and thousands of rupees from their bank accounts through fraudulent online transactions,” he said.
To prevent cheating, Kayani Bakery has posted a message under the Google listing that it does do not ask for any OTP for any transactions for selling its products. “We do not have any numbers of any kind supporting online delivery through calls,” it says.
Rustom Kayani, another Kayani bakery partner said, “We have communicated with Google regarding the fraudulent listing in Kayani Bakery’s name. However, no change has been made yet.”
“We initially filed a complaint at the Cyber police station. But as advised by the cops, we submitted our complaint at the Lashkar police station on January 17. We hope the cops lodge an FIR soon and conduct a proper investigation to stop the scam and arrest the culprits who are stealing our brand name and using it to cheat our trusted clients, causing serious damage to our goodwill and reputation created over the years,” said Rustom.
Established in 1955, the Kayani Bakery was ranked 18th last year in the list of World’s 150 Legendary Dessert Places prepared by the popular food guide ‘Taste Atlas’.
The Kayanis said they faced a similar problem in the past too. Bakery authorities had filed police complaints in October and November 2022 against scamsters falsely posing as delivery agents of Kayani Bakery. They had even published newspaper advertisements in November 2022 alerting the people about the scam.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (zone 2) Smartana Patil said she was not yet aware of the complaint filed by Kayani Bakery, but would look into the matter.
Senior police inspector Narendra More of the Lashkar police station said we are looking into the complaint application filed by Kayani Bakery partners. “We have called the complainant to the police station now for initiating further course of action,” he said.