NEW DELHI: The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has prioritized building a “Cyber Safe India.” In a concerted effort to safeguard citizens from cyber threats and curb cybercrime, the MHA has established the Indian Cybercrime Coordination Centre (I4C).
Combating Organized Investment Frauds
The I4C, through its National Cybercrime Threat Analytics Unit (NCTAU), recently identified and recommended over 100 websites involved in organized investment/task-based part-time job frauds. Acting swiftly, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), invoking its power under the Information Technology Act, 2000, has blocked these websites.
These websites, operated by overseas actors, utilized digital advertisements, chat messengers, and mule/rented accounts to facilitate task-based/organized illegal investment-related economic crimes. The proceeds from these large-scale economic frauds were laundered out of India using card networks, cryptocurrency, overseas ATM withdrawals, and international Fintech companies. To know more about actions initiated by Indian law enforcement agencies don’t miss FutureCrime Summit 2024: Most Innovative Confluence of Cyber Crime Fighters
Modus Operandi of Investment Frauds
These fraudulent schemes typically involve the following steps:
Targeted Digital Advertisements: Overseas advertisers launch targeted digital advertisements on platforms like Google and Meta using keywords like “Ghar baithe job” (work from home) or “Ghar baidhe kamai kaise karen” (how to earn from home) in multiple languages.
Establishing Contact: Upon clicking the advertisement, an agent using WhatsApp/Telegram initiates a conversation with the potential victim. The agent convinces the victim to perform tasks like video likes and subscriptions, maps ratings, etc.
Building Trust: Initially, the victim is given a commission upon completing the tasks. This builds trust and encourages them to invest more money to receive higher returns.
Freezing Deposits: Once the victim deposits a larger sum, the deposits are frozen, and they are duped.
Protecting Yourself from Investment Frauds
To safeguard yourself from these fraudulent schemes, follow these precautionary measures:
Due Diligence: Exercise due diligence before investing in any high-commission-paying online schemes advertised over the internet.
Verifying Contacts: If an unknown person contacts you over WhatsApp/Telegram, refrain from conducting financial transactions without verifying their authenticity.
UPI App Verification: Verify the name of the receiver mentioned in the UPI app. If the receiver is an unknown person, it may be a mule account, and the scheme could be fraudulent. Similarly, check the source from where the initial commission is received.
Avoid Unknown Accounts: Refrain from conducting transactions with unknown accounts, as these could be involved in money laundering or even terror financing. Engaging in such transactions could lead to account blocking by police and other legal actions.
Stay Safe, Stay Informed
As cyber threats continue to evolve, it is crucial to stay informed and vigilant. Regularly update your software, use strong passwords, and be cautious about the information you share online. By following these measures and staying aware of the latest cyber threats, you can help protect yourself and contribute to a safer digital environment.