Noida woman loses 13 lakh in YouTube job scam. Know how to stay vigilant

A woman from Greater Noida lost over 13 lakh in a YouTube job scam after being enticed by a WhatsApp offer. The shocking case highlights the need to be vigilant online. Check these tips to stay safe.

| Updated on: Jul 21 2023, 22:54 IST
BEWARE! Here is how NOT to check your PF balance; man loses Rs. 1.23 lakh in scam
Online scam alert
1/7 In a shocking turn of events, when a man was looking to check his PF balance online, he was caught by fraudsters and lost Rs. 1.23 lakh! (Reuters)
Online scam alert
2/7 This is how he lost money in this PF balance scam. He was searching for the EPOFO phone number on the Internet, but came across a fake phone number, according to Free Press Journal. He called it and the person there convinced him to download an app that provided the fraudster with remote access to his gadget. He also shared the code for making a payment. Before, the innocent man knew what happened, he had lost the whopping amount of Rs. 1.23 lakh! (Pixabay)
Online scam alert
3/7 In short, do not check PF balance by searching online and clicking on random links or talking to anyone. Just remember, EPFO will never ask you to make any payment or download any app or even ask you for any payment code or OTP. So, if you want to know how to check PF balance online, we explain it here. (HT_PRINT)
Online scam alert
4/7 How to check PF balance Via UMANG App - For checking PF Balance via UMANG App, you will first have to download the app and then log in by entering your UAN and OTP (one-time password) to check the PF account balance. (UMANG Twitter)
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5/7 How to check PF balance Via Text Message – EPFO members whose UANs are registered with EPFO can check their PF balance by sending a text message (SMS) to 7738299899 by typing 'EPFOHO UAN ENG' using your registered mobile number with the UAN (Universal Account Number). It can be noted that the last three digits of the message represents the language in which you want to receive the message. (Pixabay)
Online scam alert
6/7 How to check PF balance Via Missed Call – Members also have the option of checking the PF balance via call. Registered users can give a missed call to 011-22901406 from their UAN registered mobile number after which they will receive an SMS with details of the PF account balance. (Unsplash)
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7/7 How to check PF balance Via EPFO website - Visit the EPFO portal and click on the ‘For Employees’ option under the ‘Our Services’ dropdown menu. Click on 'Member Passbook' and enter your UAN and password. Once you do so you will be able to see your passbook. It can be noted that people who have worked in more than one organisation will have different member IDs to choose from. (MINT_PRINT)
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Online scam alert: Woman loses 13 lakh in YouTube job scam. (Pexels)

A resident of Panchsheel Hynish Society in Greater Noida suffered a financial loss of over 13 lakh after falling prey to a WhatsApp scam. The woman, identified as Kartika, received an enticing work-from-home offer through the messaging app. The job involved watching, liking, and subscribing to YouTube videos in exchange for monetary rewards. Intrigued by the apparent simplicity of the task, Kartika engaged with the fraudsters via a Telegram handle, where they promised daily returns ranging from 50 to 5,000, the Indian Express reports.

A web of deceit: Escalating losses

Initially, the scammers kept their word and credited 150 to Kartika's account as a reward for her actions on YouTube. Encouraged by these seemingly legitimate payouts, she continued performing the tasks. The fraudsters then convinced her to invest in a fake Nasdaq website, promising even higher returns. Trusting them, Kartika invested 2,000, and to her surprise, they allegedly returned 3,150 as a profit on the same day.

As the deception continued, the scammers coerced Kartika into sending large sums of money, including 5,000, 30,000, and 90,000. When she inquired about the lack of returns on her investments, they claimed she had failed a task and introduced new transactions, in which the amounts kept escalating. Fearing that she may lose the money she had already given away, Kartika continued sending more funds with the hope of recovering her initial investments.

To fund these transactions, Kartika and her husband resorted to taking personal loans, thereby accumulating more debts. The scammers demanded further payments, stating that a threshold of 15 lakh must be cleared to receive the payment. Despite their growing suspicions, Kartika and her husband continued to comply with the fraudsters' demands.

Once the scammers demanded an additional 5,20,000 as a tax payment, they finally realized they had fallen victim to a scam. They then lodged a complaint with the police.

The police have registered a case of cheating and impersonation against the unidentified culprits under Section 66D of the Information Technology (Amendments) Act, 2008. This unfortunate incident underscores the importance of exercising caution when encountering online offers and avoiding falling prey to such scams, which can lead to substantial financial losses.

5 essential tips to safeguard yourself from online scams:

While these 5 tips should form the basic foundation of your attempt to stay safe, what is even more crucial is not to believe what strangers tell you. You must verify any claims by strangers and not give them money for any reason. And remember, if what they are promising is too good to be true, then it probably is and you should not communicate with them. Tales of rich returns are always inflated, if not outrightly false.

Some of the basic precautions you can take

1. Keep your smartphone secure

Update your smartphone regularly with the latest security software, web browser, and operating system to fend off viruses and malware.

2. Create a robust password

Create a robust password of 8 characters with upper and lower case letters, special characters, and numbers. Refrain from sharing or writing it down.

3. Beware of suspicious links

Avoid clicking on links from unknown senders to steer clear of phishing scams that aim to steal private login information.

4. Be cautious with social media

Keep social media light-hearted, avoiding sharing sensitive details like usernames and passwords, as cybercriminals can exploit this information.

5. Guard personal information

Refrain from posting personal birthdays or those of family, friends, and colleagues on social media to prevent hackers from accessing sensitive information.

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First Published Date: 21 Jul, 22:53 IST