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Gujarat man likes and follows Instagram accounts, ends up losing Rs 12 lakh in online scam


Online scam cases are on the rise in India. Every day, new cases of online scammers stealing money from innocent individuals are being reported. In a recent case, a man from Gujarat was conned out of lakhs after being promised a job as a social media influencer.

The 36-year-old victim, Prakash Sawant, who resides in Subhanpura, Vadodara, recently filed a complaint on online fraud at the cybercrime police station. According to the FIR reported by Times of India, Sawant received a WhatsApp message from a woman named Divya in March. She proposed to him a part-time job on social media, explaining that his responsibilities would include liking posts by male and female celebrities on Instagram and subscribing to their accounts. She further assured Sawant that he could earn Rs 200 for every two likes and potentially make anywhere between Rs 1,000 and Rs 15,000 per day.

The woman validated her claims by sending Prakash Sawant Instagram links and instructing him to follow the account. She even provided a screenshot as evidence. Additionally, she added Sawant to various groups and asked him to engage in group chats.

Once Sawant agreed to the job, he even received Rs 200 in his bank account, which further strengthened his belief in the authenticity of the job. He also got connected to another woman named Lucy, who added him to a group where 25 tasks were assigned daily. These tasks involved liking YouTube links, and as a result, Sawant received Rs 500 in his wife’s bank account.

After a few days, the scammer asked Sawant to complete some more prepaid tasks, which involved depositing money with the assurance of earning better commission. In the beginning of this task, Sawant paid Rs 1,000 and received back Rs 1,300. Subsequently, he invested Rs 10,000 for which he received Rs 12,350 back. This commission further increased Sawant’s trust in the scheme, leading him to invest more money.

Ultimately, Sawant ended up paying a total of Rs 11.27 lakh and completed the assigned tasks. However, the scammers further insisted on depositing Rs 11.80 lakh to earn Rs 45 lakh. However, Sawant informed the scammers he didn’t have that much money and refused to transfer the amount. In response, the criminals refused to return the Rs 11.27 lakh he had previously deposited. Realising he had fallen victim to the scam, Sawant approached the cybercrime investigator to seek justice.

How to stay safe from online scam

Meanwhile, this is not a new case of a scam involving part-time jobs of liking videos or profiles. Earlier, many cases have been highlighted where scammers employed similar tactics. To stay safe, the cybercrime division advises people not to fall for any online offers that appear too good to be true. It’s important to conduct research and verify the legitimacy of the opportunity before sharing any personal or financial information.

Here are some important tips to keep in mind to safeguard yourself from such scams.

  • Don’t trust unsolicited contact. If you receive an email, text, or phone call from someone you don’t know, be suspicious. Scammers often use these methods to reach out to people and trick them into giving up their personal information or money.
  • Do your research. If you’re interested in an online offer, take some time to research the company or organisation behind it. Look for reviews from other people who have used their services. If you can’t find any information about the company, it’s best to avoid it.
  • Be careful about making deposits or payments for promises of future returns. If someone promises you a lot of money for little or no work, it’s probably a scam. There’s no such thing as a free lunch.
  • Most importantly never share personal or financial information with unknown entities. This includes your Aadhaar card number, bank account numbers, credit card numbers, and passwords. Scammers will often ask for this information in order to steal your identity or money.

Published On:

Aug 9, 2023

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