Are you one of the many people receiving enticing messages on WhatsApp or Telegram, offering payment for simple tasks like writing reviews or liking YouTube videos? If so, you need to be aware of a growing online scam that has already duped several unsuspecting victims in city.
Cybercriminals are targeting innocent people by offering online work through Telegram groups and then tricking them into sending money under the guise of completing simple tasks. In two separate incidents on Monday, fraudsters cheated victims of a staggering ₹16.19 lakh.
This is how it works
Initially, victims are lured in with promises of earning money for tasks such as watching videos, writing reviews or giving ratings on Google. They are added to Telegram groups and small amounts of money are sent to their accounts to win their trust. But then, the scamsters demand more money, promising greater returns on investment. The amount keeps increasing, and victims are unable to withdraw their deposits.
It is important to distinguish that creating counterfeit likes on YouTube and reviews on Google is a typical business model, frequently carried out by bot farms that run fake accounts. However, in this particular scam, the victim is not advertisers or YouTube algorithms, but rather unsuspecting individuals like you.
Two duped in Pune
The first victim is a 30-year-old woman from Shukrawar Peth who was duped out of ₹7.63 lakh. The second victim, a 45-year-old resident of Wagholi, was cheated out of ₹8.55 lakh by a group of people residing in Punjabi Bagh, Delhi. The complainants have filed FIRs at Khadak and Lonikand police stations respectively. Second complaint has been lodged against Riya Shukla, Pranjal Singhal, Manvi Goyal, and Avantika Guleria, all residents of Punjabi Bagh, Delhi, after being cheated out of ₹8.55 lakh.
Authorities have advised citizens to be cautious and not fall prey to such online scams. It is crucial to verify the authenticity of any online job offer or opportunity and to be wary of anyone asking for money or personal information.