PUNE: A 32-year-old senior consultant at a renowned IT company in Hinjewadi found himself caught in a web of deception, losing a staggering Rs 13.7 lakh to cunning cybercriminals who exploited his trust and eagerness to earn money online. The incident unfolded between October 26 and 27, leaving the victim shaken and the local authorities on high alert.
The Deceptive Offer
It all began on October 21 when the victim received an unsolicited text message from an unknown number. The sender, who purported to be hiring engineers, promised a daily salary of Rs 2,500. The enticing offer lured the victim, who was searching for additional income opportunities, into the scam’s snare.
Online Tasks for Quick Profit
As per the Hinjewadi police, on October 25, the victim received a phone call from a woman who identified herself as a representative of the opportunity. She instructed him to complete online tasks that would allow him to earn a daily commission.
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The victim diligently carried out a series of online tasks on October 26 and experienced a glimmer of success as he saw his profits grow. His enthusiasm was exploited, as he went on to deposit a substantial sum of Rs 5 lakh into the account provided by the fraudsters.
The Promise and the Trap
At this point, the woman on the other end of the line promised the victim a hefty return of Rs 13 lakh. Encouraged by his initial success, he proceeded to transfer more money. However, the scheme took a sinister turn when the fraudsters demanded an additional Rs 13.2 lakh from him. Realizing he was in deep trouble, the victim attempted to withdraw Rs 13.7 lakh, but the communication with the scammers abruptly ceased.
Hinjewadi police have initiated an investigation into the matter and are working diligently to trace the culprits behind this fraudulent operation. Cybercrime experts are aiding the authorities in tracking the digital footprints left behind by the perpetrators.
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Warning to the Public
This incident serves as a stark reminder of the growing threat of online scams and fraud. In recent months, numerous similar cases have been reported across the country, with unsuspecting victims falling prey to the deceitful tactics employed by cybercriminals.
Authorities urge the public to exercise caution when responding to unsolicited messages and offers, especially those that promise quick and substantial returns. It is essential to verify the legitimacy of such opportunities and refrain from sharing personal and financial information with unknown parties.
In a related incident, a 24-year-old woman from Thane, Maharashtra, was recently scammed out of Rs 5.24 lakh by individuals posing as bank employees. This case underscores the need for heightened vigilance and awareness to combat the menace of online fraud.
As the investigations continue in both cases, the victims hope for justice and restitution, while law enforcement agencies strive to bring the culprits to justice and prevent further individuals from falling victim to these fraudulent schemes.
TIPS TO STAY SAFE FROM ONLINE TASK SCAM:
- Verify the Source: Always confirm the legitimacy of the job offer or opportunity. Research the company and check for online reviews and feedback.
- Avoid Unsolicited Messages: Be wary of unsolicited texts or emails offering lucrative jobs. Legitimate employers typically don’t approach candidates this way.
- Question High Earnings: If the offer seems too good to be true, it probably is. Be skeptical of offers promising exceptionally high daily earnings.
- Never Share Personal Info: Do not share personal or financial information with unknown contacts. Legitimate employers won’t ask for such details upfront.
- Secure Payment Methods: Use secure payment platforms for transactions and avoid direct bank transfers to unknown accounts.
- Check for Red Flags: Look for inconsistencies in communication, such as poor grammar or vague job descriptions. Scammers often make mistakes.
- Consult Trusted Sources: Seek advice from friends, family, or career advisors before committing to any online task or job offer.
- Trust Your Instincts: If something feels off, trust your gut. If the opportunity seems suspicious, walk away.
- Report Suspected Scams: If you encounter a potential scam, report it to your local authorities or relevant cybercrime agencies to help prevent others from falling victim.
- Stay Informed: Keep yourself updated on the latest online scams and frauds to better protect yourself and your finances.
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