Pune citizens lose ₹27 crore in task frauds
By the end of November, the Pune cyber cell recorded 298 complaint applications related to various kinds of task fraud. As far as the First Information Report (FIR) is concerned, a total of 97 FIRs have been filed
Pune citizens have lost ₹27.23 crores in various task fraud incidents that have unfolded since March 2023, according to data shared by the Cyber Cell of Pune city police.
By the end of November, the Pune cyber cell recorded 298 complaint applications related to various kinds of task fraud. As far as the First Information Report (FIR) is concerned, a total of 97 FIRs have been filed.
This significant financial fraud has prompted concerns and sheds light on the escalating prevalence of task-related scams affecting residents in Pune.
Since March of this year, the cyber police have recorded a staggering 279 cases of task fraud within Pune city alone, signalling a concerning trend in cybercrime.
Task fraud typically involves deceptive tactics, wherein unsuspecting victims are enticed into performing tasks or assignments, only to fall prey to fraudulent schemes.
The victims, in these instances, are often left with substantial financial losses, as was the case with the Punekar who lost a colossal sum of ₹27.23 crores.
The details of the fraudulent activities leading to the substantial financial loss have not been disclosed to protect the identity of the victim. However, it is evident that the magnitude of the scam is unprecedented, reflecting the sophisticated methods employed by cybercriminals to carry out these fraudulent tasks.
According to officials from the Pune cyber cell, cyber fraudsters first identify the victim by using various data networks. Then they send messages to the victim via WhatsApp by offering them a part-time job offer. Cyber fraudsters lured victims by focusing on working from home and getting attractive returns after liking videos on various social media platforms.
Officials further said that greedy victims think that apart from regular jobs, this is a good opportunity for them to earn some extra money by working from home. Cyber fraudsters shared with them some screenshots where it is clear that people are earning decent extra money by doing such things. Once the victim is ready for the job, then fraudsters share a link with them and ask them to join it. Where they used to get daily tasks. After completing the first few free tasks, fraudsters sent money to the victim to gain his confidence.
Elaborating further, the officer said that, to earn more money, fraudsters offered some paid tasks to the victim. During paid tasks, fraudsters do not get their payment on a regular basis hence fraudsters ask the victim to deposit money in the account number provided in order to release his payment. Likewise, the victim is asked to deposit more money to get back the invested money and lose lakhs of rupees in the scam, informed cyber police sleuths.
Minal Patil, senior police inspector of Cyber Cell said, “These scammers are basically from Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal. The majority of the victims are from educated backgrounds. In a quest to earn extra money to fell into the trap of the scammers.’’
Patil said citizens should think twice before making any financial transaction with unknown people.
Patil said, “We have reported a few fraud cases in which victims get duped twice by scammers. After registering a complaint with us, they were again contacted by scammers and lured them to get back their lost money. Scammers ask them to pay a certain amount so that they can help them get their money back. Once the victim pays the sum, then scammers stop responding to their calls.’’
According to Patil, they have registered five such cases, in which victims were duped by scammers twice after registering the complaint.