Beware of crypto and other online scams

03 May 2023

Someone I know got scammed & lost money.

It started with a response to a part-time job offer on WhatsApp. The first few tasks were about leaving fake reviews for resorts & restaurants in random places like Peru. ~Rs 30k was transferred to the bank for the tasks completed. A Telegram group was created with others who claimed to do these tasks.

The next task for the group was to trade on a mock crypto platform, following a bunch of rules. Profits generated were allowed to be withdrawn, even without transferring any real money. By the way, this wasn’t Bitcoin or Ethereum, but random crypto tokens whose prices fraudsters could easily manipulate.

The group was now asked to transfer real money to generate higher returns. Others in the group claiming to transfer nudged my friend to do so as well. I guess the risk didn’t seem much since the money transferred was the Rs 30K earned through the platform.

But greed took over, and more money was transferred, probably due to peer pressure from others in the group who claimed to have made large transfers and profits. The person tried to withdraw but couldn’t and was told that a certain number of traders was required. The fear of being unable to withdraw the money took over, and more money was added to trade. This amounted to Rs 5 lakh, a large amount for any person

The platform offered a loan when the person said there was no more money to add. The person finally decided to confide with the spouse about the situation, who almost immediately realized it was a fraud. They reached out to the police for help. The account seemed like a real crypto account, with account balance, ledger, P&L, etc. But it was all fake; everything on it was manipulated, including the telegram group.

The crypto price movements were also manipulated to generate profits and sow greed at the start. The police shared many cases—even well-educated folks borrowing tens of lakhs and losing it in such sophisticated scams. Everyone is a target, and we need to create awareness. The important thing to remember is that there is no easy way to make a lot of money quickly.

View on Twitter →