Here are a few indicative task-based part-time job scams offered on social media and messenger services. (a) Free work-at-home opportunities (b) high-paying for likes and reviews (c) Phony social media influencers use investment and earning opportunity seminars. (d) part-time jobs with full-time pay via SMS, WhatsApp, and social media advertisements (e) Reseller opportunities with initial registrations and deposits (f) Fake online Investment frauds (g) Online Crypto currency investment and mining
Victims are often prompted to pay a processing, joining, or one-time registration fee to gain access to large sums of money from scammers who pretend to be officials from reputed investment firms. offering huge earnings for individuals on reselling for online shopping platforms, online social media likes, or online reviews on blogs. They steal the money by way of social engineering crimes (i.e., earned money accumulates and shows up in wallets, but victims will be unable to withdraw amounts).
Modus operandi of one task-based frauds (Buy/Resell on Shopping Portal) :
(a) Victims are attracted towards social media advertisements and short links sent via WhatsApp and SMS on shopping/reselling on a fake shopping portal
(b) Victims are asked to deposit anything between Rs 200 to Rs 10,000 following where they can “shop/resell”. Some companies may offer free amount already loaded on their wallets to get them enticed.
(c) Victims are asked to perform tasks (sell/buy) from the portal as part of their earning routine.
(d) The profit amounts are visible in the wallets, but the victims are unable to with draw
(e) Once the victim has made the first few profits, he is enticed to perform additional tasks that involve loading more money and performing more tasks, and he earns similar returns and those show up in the dashboard/wallet.
(f) The victim is unable to withdraw the money shown in the dashboard/wallet and is requested to load more money and perform more tasks in order to be able to withdraw his earnings, The process continues in a loop, and once a large amount is invested by the victim, the fraudster stops responding over the chat and the victim loses all earnings, including his actual investments as shown in the dashboard/wallet.
Few Frauds and Red Flags:
Few task based online cyber frauds are (a) Reselling on Shopping Portal (b) Social Media Reviews (c) Social Media Likes (d) Crypto Currency Mining (e) Online Stock Trading (f) DTP Works (g) Survey Schemes.
Few Red Flags are (a) Promising abnormally high guaranteed returns. (b) Requesting a high initial investment, i.e., joining fee or processing fee, etc. In order to apply for the job or task (c) Investing in apps not listed in the App Store or Play Store and unregistered companies (d) Advertisements by fake social media influencers (e) Offer bonuses if you recruit your friends and family into the fraudulent schemes. (f) Requiring payment for training or materials.(g) Having fake review sites or testimonials (h) Impersonate legitimate companies or organisations (Check for the logos and website url properly)
Few safety tips :
(a) Research the company or individual offering the job or task. Look for information about the company or individual online, and check for reviews or complaints from other people who have worked with them.
(b) Don’t provide bank and personal information unless you ascertain that the opportunity is legitimate. Legitimate companies and individuals will not ask for personal and financial information upfront.
(c) Be wary of job opportunities that sound too good to be true. If a job opportunity promises extremely high pay for little work or requires no experience, it may be a scam.
(d) Check for warning signs, be on the lookout for warning signs such as poor grammar or spelling in job listings or emails, requests to pay an upfront fee, or pressure to act quickly before an opportunity is gone.
(e) Never make payment upfront or joining fee for any opportunity that talks about work from home job.
(f) Trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right about a job or task opportunity, trust your instincts and don’t proceed.
What to do when you are scammed online :
Immediately call the toll-free number 1930 “Citizen Financial Fraud Management System” within an hour of realising the fraud or you can report the crime as a complaint on https://www.cybercrime.gov.in. If you want to file a complaint under the “One Nation, One Ombudsman” scheme (if the money was lost via UPI payment), you can call the toll-free number 14448 or go to https://cms.rbi.org.in.
If the victim’s money is still available in the fraudster’s account, the respective bank will put it on hold. Subsequently, the complainant has to appear in court formally, and then the money is transferred to the complainant’s account.