The Centre on Wednesday said it blocked over 100 websites involved in organised investment and task-based part-time job frauds. These websites, the Centre said, organised illegal investment-related economic crimes.
It was learnt that they were being operated by overseas “cyber threat actors” and they were using digital advertisement, chat messengers, mule and rented accounts, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said in an official statement.
“It was also learnt that proceeds from the large scale economic frauds were seen to be laundered out of India using card network, cryptocurrency, overseas ATM withdrawals and international Fintech companies,” the MHA said.
“Under the guidance of Union Home Minister Shri Amit Shah, M/o Home Affairs is committed to curbing cybercrime and protecting people from cyber threat actors,” it added.
“Ghar Baithe Job” Scams
Talking about how these fraudsters worked, the Centre said that they launched targeted digital advertisements on Google and Meta using keywords like “ghar baithe job” and “ghar baithe kamai kaise karen” in multiple languages from overseas advertisers.
Targets are mostly retired employees, women and unemployed youth looking for part-time jobs, the Centre said.
“Upon clicking the advertisement, an agent using WhatsApp or Telegram starts a conversation with the potential victim, who convinces him/her to perform some tasks like video likes and subscribe, maps rating, etc,” the Centre said.
Upon completion of the task, the victim is given some commission, initially and is asked to invest more to get more returns against the given task.
After gaining confidence, when a victim deposits a larger sum, deposits are frozen and thus victim is duped, the Centre said.
How To Remain Safe From Job Scams
You should always exercise due diligence before investing in any such very high commission paying online schemes, the Centre said.
If an unknown person contacts you over WhatsApp or Telegram, refrain from performing financial transactions without verification.
You should always verify the name of the receiver mentioned in the UPI app and if the receiver is any random person, it may be a mule account and the scheme may be fraudulent, the Centre added.
You should also check the source from where the initial commission is received.
“Citizens should refrain from doing transactions with unknown accounts, as these could be involved in money laundering and even terror financing and lead to blocking of accounts by police and other legal action,” the Centre said.
You should also report phone numbers and social media handles used by such fraudsters to the National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal at www.cybercrime.gov.in.