BENGALURU: After incurring huge loss in business, he found a new way to make a quick buck: He borrowed cars from friends, mostly Facebook acquaintances, on the pretext of family outings and sold or mortgaged them. But his luck ran out when a friend sensed something amiss and approached Kamakshipalya police. Charan Raj, 30, from Kanakapura Road is now cooling his heels behind bars.Police have recovered 11 cars and two bikes, worth over Rs 50 lakh, from Charan. Cops swung into action after his social media friend Rudresh G filed a cheating complaint on June 13. Rudresh told police he got to know Charan a year ago through a common friend. Rudresh was driving his sister’s sedan worth over Rs 10 lakh and Charan borrowed it one day, claiming he wanted to visit KR Nagar. Rudresh later learnt Charan had mortgaged the vehicle through another friend. Charan confessed to police he had cheated more than a dozen people in the city, most of whom were his Facebook friends. He posed as powerful realtor Charan, who had incurred huge debts, was desperate to make money after two of his ventures — a footwear shop and later a mobile showroom in Rajarajeshwari Nagar — sustained losses. Charan borrowed a family friend’s car to attend a function a few months ago and sold it to a used-car dealer. Later, he began befriending people on Facebook to borrow their cars. Charan used to send friend requests to several people and when they accepted them, he would go through their profile and identify his potential victims. “He used to pose as a realtor or businessman with powerful political connections. He would later meet those friends for a coffee and win their trust. Within two or three months, he would ask them to lend their car for a day or two and would even offer to pay the rent,” police said. Kiran C, one of Charan’s victims, told TOI police informed him recently that his car had been seized from Mysuru. Kiran, a private firm employee and resident of Doddamavalli, said he received a friend request from Charan three months ago. Later, they exchanged phone numbers and were in constant touch. Charan called Kiran on May 23 and asked for his car to attend the wedding ceremony of a relative. “He wanted my car for five days. But he did not return it on time and kept telling me he would do so soon. I was shocked to hear that he had sold my car in Mysuru,” he said.