A 33-year-old man residing in Koparkhairane, Navi Mumbai, experienced a distressing event as he became the target of a terrifying WhatsApp scam. Unfortunately, he fell victim to the fraudsters and lost an astonishing amount of Rs. 43.45 lakh. Initially, they lured him with promises of substantial earnings through online tasks, but it ultimately proved to be a heartless deception.
The man’s troubles began when he received a WhatsApp message from unknown people offering him part-time work doing online tasks. The promise of making a lot of money made him jump, and he ended up losing all his savings. Although he had transferred a huge amount as instructed to various bank accounts, he did not get anything in return, according to a report in India Today.
The police acted swiftly and charged the fraudsters under Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code, which deals with “cheating and dishonestly disposing of property”. But so far no one has been arrested, leaving the victim to grapple with his massive loss.
This online assignment scam is becoming more common and therefore the public must be aware of it and know how to prevent or prevent themselves from falling victim to it. It usually starts with scammers asking you to do small tasks and they pay small fees to gain your trust. Then they trick you into giving them lots of money, promising big jobs or profits, but it never happens.
This incident is similar to a recent incident in Mumbai where a 48-year-old lost nearly Rs. 18 lakh for a similar scheme. Scammers got him to do online tasks and he got small payments at first. But in the end he lost Rs. 17.9 lakh when he sent money to several accounts to get more such assignments.
Navi Mumbai Police Cyber Crime Branch acted swiftly but these incidents show that we all need to be aware and consciously avoid falling into such traps.
Here are some tips to protect yourself when searching for a job on Whatsapp or other social media:
1. Beware of unrealistic offers: If the job seems too good to be true, it probably is. Scammers promise high salaries and great benefits.
2. Don’t click on unknown links: Avoid clicking on unknown links; they may lead to unsafe websites or downloads.
3. Protect your personal information: Do not give out important information to unknown callers, especially over the phone or text messages.
4. Act quickly: If you suspect a scam, delete the message or end the call without sharing any information.
5. Protect your personal and financial information: Never share sensitive information such as bank account numbers, Aadhaar card or passport details with potential employers until you are sure it is legitimate.
The lesson is to stay alert and be careful when looking for job opportunities both online and offline so that you don’t fall for scams like Harshavardhan.