Business International

From WhatsApp to Telegram, how fraudsters are still conning Indian users

New Delhi: Not just international spam calls, scamsters have devised several ways to con WhatsApp users in India, especially the popular ‘like YouTube videos’ scam, where they lure them via WhatsApp and then take them to rival chat app Telegram and siphon off their hard-earned money.

Although international spam calls have reduced in the past few days, people are still losing money via spam text messages on WhatsApp which has more than 500 million users in the country.

A software engineer in Gurugram lost over Rs 42 lakh after scammers tempted him with promises of huge earnings for simply liking videos on YouTube, first via WhatsApp message and then adding him to a Telegram group.

In April, with the arrest of four men, Delhi Police claimed to have busted a gang of cyber crooks for cheating over 500 people on the pretext of ‘online trading’ on a huge margin across the country. The official said that the gang members were connected with Chinese accomplices operating from Dubai.

A senior Delhi Police official told IANS that in the past six months, several cases of fraud, ultimately connected to Chinese cyber gangs who are using WhatsApp to connect and lure people, have come to light.

“They lure people on pretext for small earnings just for a ‘like’ and then dupe them of their hard-earned money from banks. Several Chinese gangs have been identified behind such rackets operating across the country and rotating money through Hawala channels,” the official said.

According to police, a woman in her recent complaint said she was searching for a job online when she received a WhatsApp message from an unknown number.