“Part-time job, you can use your mobile phone to operate at home, you can earn 200-3000 rupees a day, 10-30 minutes a day, new users join to get you 50 rupees, waiting for you to join. Click the link below,” reads the WhatsApp message received from a number with a Mexican ISD code to which several in the State have fallen prey and lost thousands of rupees.
Over the past few months, many in TN lost their hard-earned money to cyber criminals who promised to offer money for just liking and sharing videos after collecting a deposit of Rs 30,000. These cyber criminals have lured gullible netizens and mobile users with an ‘offer of good returns’ for sharing YouTube videos. To do that, one had to become a ‘member’ of the network by paying a fixed amount up to Rs 30,000, victims of the fraud claimed.
Once the person paid and became a member, he was eligible to earn up to Rs 18 per ‘like’ and ‘share’. The victims were then told that they could share up to 100 videos per day and make Rs 1,800 a day after downloading a mobile app, the link for which was sent to them. “But the payment stopped after two days and the victims were not able to contact the network. Victims from across the state, including Chennai, had lodged their complaints with the police online,” said Sundar, a Chennai resident, who has done some research on the fraudulent scheme after getting duped by social media con artists.
In Chennai, complaints were lodged with the Central Crime Branch and Adyar cybercrime cell last week. “The app given will look professional but isn’t available in public domain. The gang had already opened and closed at least two apps after collecting money through the same bank but using different accounts. Currently, they are promoting the third app,” noted Sundar.
When contacted, a senior police officer said that they have received the complaints and are looking into it.