Mumbai: A 33-year-old woman ended up losing more than ₹13 lakh from her own as well as her mother’s savings account in five days after she fell prey to an online part-time job fraud last month.
According to the police, on November 28, the victim – Ankita Shringare – received a text message regarding part-time earning opportunities. She replied in the affirmative and was told that she would have to follow Instagram accounts in exchange for money, which she agreed to.
“The beginning was innocuous, with the complainant receiving small amounts of money in exchange for following some Instagram accounts. Soon, she was added to a Telegram channel, where a lot of supposed ‘prepaid tasks’ were posted,” said a police officer.
He added that the participants were told that they would have to deposit certain amounts of money before completing these tasks and that they would be reimbursed with interest.
The officer added that as Shringare had already received payment for her earlier tasks, she was convinced that she was dealing with honest people and hence started depositing various amounts of money in the accounts specified by the accused.
“When her account balance was exhausted, she started sending money from her mother’s account. By Friday, she had sent a total of ₹13.68 lakh but there were no signs of any tasks or reimbursement,” the officer said.
Finally, on Saturday afternoon, she approached the police and an FIR was registered against unknown persons under the Indian Penal Code along with relevant sections of the Information Technology (IT) Act.
“We have taken details of the mobile numbers the accused were using as well as the Instagram accounts that the complainant followed as part of her supposed tasks. Technical investigations are underway and we are also contacting the banks concerned so that we can try to freeze and reverse the transactions,” said the officer.