FPJ Cyber Secure: Kharghar Resident Loses ₹46 Lakh To Google Rating Fraud

FPJ Cyber Secure: Kharghar Resident Loses ₹46 Lakh To Google Rating Fraud

The complainant was asked to complete 23 tasks and for it, he was asked to deposit ₹1000 but the amounts went on increasing for each task and he lost ₹46 lakh.

Amit SrivastavaUpdated: Tuesday, August 15, 2023, 10:55 PM IST
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FPJ Cyber Secure: Kharghar Resident Loses ₹46 Lakh To Google Rating Fraud | representational pic

Navi Mumbai: In a distressing incident, a 39-year-old Kharghar resident fell victim to cyber fraudsters, losing a staggering amount of ₹46.27 lakh in a Google rating fraud scheme. The fraudsters enticed the victim with the promise of substantial returns in exchange for completing tasks, which required an initial payment.

The victim initially received a small income from the scammers, who then gradually escalated the investment amount in tandem with the tasks. However, after receiving the money, the fraudsters ceased all communication, leaving the victim in significant financial distress.

Intricate Deception of the Google Rating Fraud

According to the victim's account, the cyber criminals initiated contact through a message, offering a part-time job that claimed to yield a daily income of up to ₹5000. Intrigued, the victim responded to the message and subsequently received three tasks on July 9, 2023. After successfully completing these tasks, the fraudsters rewarded the victim with ₹150. As the scheme progressed, the victim was added to a Telegram Channel named "Merchant Task."

In a progressively sinister turn, the victim was presented with 23 tasks and was required to deposit ₹1000 for participation. As the victim complied, the deposit amount steadily grew, eventually leading to a transfer of ₹26,30,000. However, the promised returns failed to materialize, and the victim was coerced into performing additional tasks valued at ₹15,00,000. When the victim hesitated to make further transfers, the fraudsters issued threats, claiming that failure to comply would result in the loss of the invested funds.

The victim, who works as a college teacher, resorted to borrowing money from friends and utilising credit cards to manage funds. Under the fraudsters' guidance, the victim created another ID and invested even more money. By July 17, a total of ₹19,97,200 had been transferred after completing all the tasks. At this point, the fraudsters demanded an additional ₹5,06,250 as GST to facilitate the release of the accumulated funds.

Eventually realising the extent of the deception, the victim sought help from law enforcement. The Kharghar police registered a case of cheating under sections 420, 506, and 34 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), along with section 66D of the Information Technology Act. An investigation into the matter has been initiated.

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