Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): This year is inching towards an end, however, task frauds, in which target persons are lured on the pretext of fulfilling several tasks and are promised daily money, remained a major challenge to the city’s cyber cell. The data released by the district cyber cell revealed that as many as 180 task frauds were reported this year and Bhopalites lost as much as Rs 2.15 crore in these cases.
Out of all the cases, the police managed to arrest just 12 persons involved in duping people. The arrested accused revealed before the cyber cops that such gangs are mushrooming in Delhi, West Bengal, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh. Several of such gangs are based in Bihar too, they added. As per the latest development, earlier the task frauds involved writing reviews of several restaurants online, which has now gradually transformed into liking YouTube videos, commenting on them, liking and promoting pages on Instagram and merchandise marketing.
It is now a well-known fact that such messaging applications are used by the cyber thugs to lure the people, which do not require any phone number or concrete ID for signing up. Numerous efforts by the Bhopal cyber wing to issue advisories regarding cyber frauds have gone up in smoke, as evident by the number of cases registered in the cyber cell. Officials at the district cyber crime cell told Free Press that once a member of any such gang is arrested, the crooks spontaneously change their mobile phone numbers as well as their location to avoid getting caught.
This year, another grave concern emerging from the task frauds was the hacking of mobile phone data, owing to which, even if the victims manage to complete the tasks assigned to them, they are coerced into depositing money in the digital bank account provided by the crooks, who threaten them of morphing their photos into obscene pictures and circulating them among their contacts.
No response from developers of messaging apps: DCP (Crime)
Deputy commissioner of police (Crime) Shrutkirti Somvanshi said that the headquarters of the messaging applications used in task frauds are based in Russia and other countries and gazillions of emails have been sent to them. However, no response has been received from them, he added.