Pune Resident Loses 4 Lakh In Online Task Fraud

Pune Resident Loses 4 Lakh In Online Task Fraud

Pune Resident Loses 4 Lakh In Online Task Fraud

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Most of us would want to make easy money in exchange for internet reviews and video likes. A 34 year-old mother from Pune is the most recent victim of an online task fraud. 

2 May 2024

By Khushi Maheshwari

When she came across an attractive advertisement on social media, a 34 year-old lady from Pune thought that she had unlocked a terrific opportunity for her daughter to pursue child modelling. Little did she know, she was going to be trapped by online scammers and lose out on 4 lakh rupees within 4 days of clicking on that enticing social media ad. 

The woman, who resides on Katraj Kondhwa Road, filed a First Information Report (FIR) at Bharati Vidyapeeth police station earlier this week. She reported coming across a Facebook ad that offered kids several modelling options somewhere around mid-March. After contacting the number given in the advertisement, the person who picked up inquired about the woman’s and her daughter’s personal details and gave her instructions on how to register on their platform. 

After two days, they asked her to complete a few online tasks to receive the modelling project for her child. The victim was made part of a messenger group for the tasks. 

As per officials, the woman was granted a sum of money in her bank account ranging from 150 rupees to 1000 rupees after each task (that involved giving reviews or liking posts). Subsequently, she received an offer of “prepaid tasks,” wherein she would have to pay a certain amount upfront in order to receive a better return on that payment.

After some initial return payments, while she maintained paying increasing sums for the ‘prepaid tasks’, the suspect halted sending genuine returns and kept assuring her that she would receive them later. By the time the complainant realised she had been duped, she had already lost a substantial amount of 4 lakhs to the scammers over several online payments within 4 days. 

Pune residents have reported numerous online task frauds since January 2023. In possibly the biggest such case so far with the city police, a 69-year-old retired colonel from the Indian Army was scammed to the tune of Rs 2.4 crore in May and June last year.

Initially, the victims of these task frauds get messages offering them money in exchange for doing things like liking videos and leaving online evaluations for companies like hotels. To gain their trust, they paid nominal sums in the beginning, like Rs. 100 for a like or Rs. 1,000 for a review. They subsequently receive word that they have been “selected” for a “higher level” task and are required to pay a fee in order to receive “prepaid tasks” that will earn them more money.