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Police issue alert as online fraudsters lure more victims by promising huge returns

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The Ernakulam Rural police have issued an alert against surging online fraud.

Fraudsters, among other things, promise part-time and even full-time jobs with income running into thousands on work-from-home arrangements with just a mobile phone and an internet connection being the sole prerequisite.

The police said the number of people getting trapped by such promises was on the rise going by complaints reaching the Rural cyber police station every day. Frauds are being designed by using the names of well-known e-commerce firms. Such fraudulent notifications published on social media platforms often come with related links.

Clicking on such links takes unsuspecting victims to the WhatsApp number of fraudsters. What follows is a demonstration of fake websites and the lure of earning lakhs of rupees in a matter of a few months. The website will feature many products supposedly up for sale, which the victims are required to invest on with the promise that they will get a huge return and a commission if those products are purchased by someone else.

The victims then buy some of those products at a nominal price to test the waters. Then, to hook the victims, a substantial sum will be shown against their accounts on the fake website. Fraudsters will send this as a message to convince victims and continue showing updated accounts with greater returns.

At times, fraudsters set a target promising greater returns if products worth a specific amount are sold within a given time. This lures many victims into investing lakhs of rupees to meet the target. They eventually realize the fraud when they unsuccessfully try to transfer the amount shown against their names to their personal bank accounts. In many cases, these websites themselves do a vanishing act overnight. Attempts to reach the contact numbers also proved futile.

“Many people are being cheated along these lines on a daily basis. Fraudulent job promises should be handled with care. Else, your hard-earned money will be lost,” said Vivek Kumar, District Police Chief (Ernakulam Rural).

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