Global scammers have made Indians the target with the help of messaging apps like WhatsApp and Telegram. In recent weeks thousands of Indians are receiving calls and messages from international numbers for which they have raised complaints. It is unfortunate but the number of calls is on the rise at an alarming rate.
After the call, the users are losing their hard-earned money to scammers. The extraordinary rise of cases and complaints have led the Indian government to an advisory in the public interest. Government officials have advised messaging App users to stay alert of international calls and messages on the platforms like WhatsApp or Telegram. The numbers of scam are on the rise with +251 (Ethiopia), +60 (Malaysia), +62 (Indonesia), +254 (Kenya) +84(Vietnam), and other cases.
Looking at the seriousness of the cases WhatsApp is now alert of the scams on its platform. According to WhatsApp users should immediately block and report scam calls.
The statement given by WhatsApp mentions that “ WhatsApp provides a convenient way to block and report suspicious accounts. It’s important to report these accounts to WhatsApp so that we can take the required action against them and ban them from the platform. Users can also control who sees their personal details and their online presence by using our privacy controls. Keeping your personal details visible to only your contacts can help safeguard your account against bad actors”.
In the month of March WhatsApp revealed that it took the action of banning 4.7 million accounts after receiving complaints from its users. WhatsApp has promised to take the necessary steps to avoid the occurrence of scams in the future.
What is Part-time Job Scam
The users are given lucrative offers of doing part-time jobs. After the trust is built the interested users are asked to join a group on Telegram. In these groups, the users are instructed to like YouTube videos, watch movies or rate any restaurant or movie. The scammers will then pay the users a small amount to gain more trust after which the scammers will stop paying them but will assign more work. They then ask to click on the links based on their personal information and further ask to deposit money to gain more out of the investment.
A victim from Pune has reported that she lost around Rs. 3 Lakhs to the scam. The victim was initially asked to watch and subscribe to a few YouTube Channels. For which she was promised to get Rs.1500. After this she was added to the Telegram group where she can see people sharing their reviews of earning a huge amount ( which were fake). Then the victim was asked to pay some amount for the task which she will get back with an additional reward.
The victim stated that the sams are not only on WhatsApp but also platforms like YouTube and Telegram. The scammers create fake websites where the users are asked to invest including crypto. A set of tasks is designed to lure the users. Initially, they are asked to invest Rs. 5000 and then further were asked to visit NASDAQ (a fake website), and the trainer h=guides for further actions. When the victim asked for payment after the first payment was received the trainer asked her to perform more tasks which happened twice.
Even some of her colleagues received messages on WhatsApp through International numbers and were asked to join a group on Telegram to earn money.
One needs to learn to identify these and stay alert about these scams. You don’t need to entertain these calls and messages and simply block them. Some of the points to be noted while receiving such calls are as follows:
- Do not answer the calls from any unknown number whether National or International.
- Do not reveal your personal or financial data to any unknown person even if they are offering you some kind of job or any reward.
- Do not click on the links or download any attachments shared by unknown numbers.
- Do not send your hard-earned money if asked to join the Telegram channel or if you are given certain tasks.
- Report and block the scammer on an immediate basis on your WhatsApp.
You can report the cases under the Cyber fraud incidents but what is more important is you have to be alert. You need to be aware while using your social media platforms. And other platforms like WhatsApp or Telegram. Especially calls from unknown international numbers should be properly taken care of.