ED attaches Rs 32 crore in over 500 bank accounts in multi-crore part-time job scam
Cracking down on the part-time job scamsters, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday attached over Rs 32 crore lying as a balance in over 500 bank accounts in Hyderabad and adjoining areas.
The scam came to light after the Cyber crime department of Hyderabad Police lodged cases against unknown persons for deceiving and hoodwinking gullible persons in the guise of reviewing and ratings of websites, hotels and resorts and more.
More than 50 such cases of tricking people by the cyber and online scamsters have been lodged at various police stations across the country.
The probe agency seized the staggering Rs 32.34 crore balance in 580 banks accounts under the money laundering case.
In its investigation, the ED found that cyber criminals would approach gullible persons on WhatsApp and Telegram, and lure them by offering part-time jobs by performing simple tasks of giving 5-star ratings to tourist websites, hotels, resorts, tourist destinations, etc., with daily income ranging between Rs 1,000-1,500.
The scamsters used to collect basic details and ask the victims to join certain WhatsApp and Telegram groups using links provided by them, where their associates would speak highly of the jobs.
The victims would then be asked to register on bogus websites/ apps using their basic details including bank account numbers.
The scamsters would then offer tokens worth Rs 10,000 on e-wallets on bogus websites and apps.
People were told to deposit money to different bank accounts.
Their wallet balance would get exhausted with every task.
The commission earned would be allowed to be withdrawn from people to gain their trust.
And, then they were coaxed and coerced to put money in online accounts on the promise of 'work more, earn more'.
When the users tried to withdraw the money, reflecting in their online wallets, transactions would be declined citing random reasons. They were also asked to deposit more money as refundable withdrawal fee.
Even after some victims deposited such fees, the withdrawals could not be made and the WhatsApp agents would stop communicating.
According to ED findings, the scamsters collected more than Rs 524 crore in more than 175 bank accounts, used only for a brief period ranging from 1-15 days and the money was diverted to other accounts.
This money was further used to buy crypto-currencies and making Hawala payments and remitting money abroad.
The masterminds of the scam are said to be based in the UAE.
They reportedly used SIM cards sourced from several middlemen who got their bank accounts opened in the name of shell entities, using fake and forged documents.
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