In India, the new wave of WhatsApp connections scams has elevated the danger from cyberspace. According to various reports, WhatsApp, which has more than 500 million users nationwide, is causing individuals to lose money via spam text messages. Scammers have come up with a number of methods to trick WhatsApp users in India other from international spam calls, including the well-known “like YouTube videos” scam, in which victims are lured through WhatsApp before being transferred to the competing messaging software Telegram and duped out of their hard-earned cash.
Scam WhatsApp Links: Methodology
In an instance of “click farm fraud,” a guy from Uttar Pradesh was defrauded of Rs 22 lakh. According to the FIR filed with the Gomti Nagar Cyber Police station, the victim had received a message on his WhatsApp promising him money in exchange for doing easy assignment work. To complete the task, you had to “like” websites and links. After speaking with a member of the staff of the firm that was giving him the job, he was handed Rs 3,000 as payment for his efforts.
The police said that in order to gain the victim's trust, the thugs even paid him a salary of 48,450 rupees before asking him to deposit 4.84 lakh rupees. He was also required to pay more than Rs 2 lakh in taxes, which he did in the expectation of receiving a sizable return. But the fraudster persisted in baiting him, and he eventually gave in by handing over more than Rs 3 lakh, Rs 5 lakh, and Rs 6 lakh in exchange for doing various duties in exchange for the return of the invested amount.
However, after stealing more than Rs 22 lakh from the victim in the case, the criminals stopped answering his calls.
In a separate incident, con artists lured a software engineer in Gurugram with promises of enormous riches for just liking YouTube videos through WhatsApp messaging, and then added him to a Telegram group, where he lost almost Rs 42 lakh.
With the arrest of four guys in April, Delhi Police claimed to have broken up a group of cyber criminals who had defrauded over 500 people nationwide under the guise of “online trading” by a significant margin. The official said that the gang members had ties to Chinese associates working out of Dubai.
According to a top Delhi Police officer, there have been multiple incidences of fraud in the last six months that have been linked to Chinese cyber gangs who use WhatsApp to contact and entice individuals.
“They entice individuals under the pretense of offering little rewards for a “like” before defrauding them of their hard-earned money from banks. These schemes, which operate all throughout the nation and transfer money via Hawala routes, have been linked to many Chinese gangs, the officer added.
In a recent complaint to the police, a lady claimed that she was looking for a job online when she got a WhatsApp message from an unknown number.
“The WhatsApp message offers to pay Rs 50 for each like on the social media account links that were supplied to her. The caller gave many links, which she opened and found to be appealing. According to Sanjay Kumar Sain, Deputy Commissioner of Police for Central, “She sent the screen shot to the sender named Xarina.”
To access the awarded cash, Xarina instructed her to visit a Telegram link. She joined the Telegram channel, and her bank account was credited with Rs 150. She was then given instructions by Xarina to join another Telegram group and like certain YouTube videos, which she did and was paid Rs 200 for, according to the DCP.
Recently, Delhi Police discovered a global organization of cybercriminals with offices in China, Dubai, and Georgia, as well as a mastermind who had deceived 11,000 individuals under the guise of offering online employment with Amazon.
Under the guise of offering internet employment, the group conned millions of rupees. Three persons were detained by police in separate raids that were undertaken in this regard in Delhi, Gurugram, and Fatehabad (Haryana).
The study revealed that Chinese cybercriminals created a module to defraud individuals searching for online part-time or work from home employment, since Chinese loan fraud is currently dropping as a result of agency action and public awareness.
The WhatsApp number used to mislead the victim by persuading her to invest into a bogus Amazon site was also discovered to be managed outside of India. It was determined that the Telegram ID used by the crooks was being controlled from Beijing.
The National Payments Council of India (NPCI) and Kotak Mahindra Bank were then emailed by the police, asking for beneficiary information on the alleged transactions. As a result, it was discovered that victims' money had been collected into a shell company account.
“When the bank's information was examined, it was discovered that a total of Rs 5.17 crore was credited in a single day. It was discovered via further money trails that the whole sum was siphoned off through seven distinct businesses. Through the use of cryptocurrency, the money was siphoned into overseas accounts, according to the DCP.
Eight persons who used to deceive people under the guise of investment and online gaming were arrested by Delhi Police for using a different method of operation. The group used to communicate with the victims over WhatsApp and make them money-making offers for online gambling and investing.
“Then, they include the victims in a Telegram group while claiming that other group members are making excellent money quickly. The victim, who followed their instructions, fell for their trap and lost his hard-earned money, according to the official.
The victims were also enticed by the group to play online games for cash. “They e-mail them a link to their gaming website. When victims ask for money when a person wins, they are instead given pennies in their account, and they cease speaking to him after that, the officer added.
Whatsapp Scam: 5 Things To Remember To Prevent Online Fraud
Don't click on unidentified links: The most important tip is to never click on links coming from unidentified phone numbers. Spend a minute thinking before clicking any links since an offer that seems too good to be true often isn't.
Dual-factor authentication Enable WhatsApp's two-step verification so you can confirm your account by entering a six-digit PIN. This will aid in your defense against phishing scams and online fraud.
Report and block: When receiving a message on WhatsApp from an unknown number, always block and report it. Make sure to personally contact the organization or firm for further information if you get any mails about employment.
Privacy controls: Ensure that the privacy settings for adding to WhatsApp groups are changed. You may also modify the privacy settings for your profile picture and online status. It is advisable to only give out personal information to those you can rely on.
Verify connected devices: You must make sure to look at the list of connected devices. Log out of all devices immediately if you discover any unusual logins.