Cyber con artists on the prowl to trick people into fake brand promotion

HYDERABAD: Part-time job offers purporting to virtually purchase products from reputable e-commerce platforms on a commission basis is the new bait used by cybercriminals. According to cybercrime investigators, such cases are on the rise in the commissionerates of Hyderabad, Cyberabad, and Rachakonda.

In one incident reported to Cyberabad's cybercrime wing, a senior manager for a reputable pharmaceutical company received an SMS with a part-time job offer.

When he contacted the sender, he was told that it was a portal which is a part-time e-commerce platform of multinational corporations. He was also told that online stores buy virtual goods to boost their online sales and popularity. The victim was told that after completing the orders, he would receive a commission of up to 70 per cent on the purchase.

According to cybercrime officials, when the victim followed the instructions, he was directed to recharge his account, initially in small denominations but eventually running into thousands and sometimes lakhs of rupees for purchasing medicines. The returns and commissions assured by them would be displayed in the victim's virtual account.

The victims will be able to withdraw the money during the initial stages but when the returns are higher they will be unable to withdraw the amount. They are forced to pay more in withdrawal and other charges, only to discover that they have been duped, police said.

To gain the victim's trust, the fraudsters display logos of leading e-commerce portals on their websites and conduct all transactions online, police said when the scamsters realise the victim is suspicious of their business or is unable to pay more, they block the victim on all platforms.

To avoid falling into such traps, one should not proceed without verifying the background of the portals offering part-time jobs, and for whatever reason, one should not pay money to strangers, according to a cybercrime official involved in the investigation.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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