700,000 duped of $552 million by India-based firm, 3 held
With the arrest of three persons, the Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force busted a gang of fraudsters who allegedly cheated 700,000 people to the tune of $552m through a online trading site. The task force has also sealed the bank accounts of the company, based in Sector 63 here, which had a total balance of close to $750k, the Special Task Force’s ASP Amit Pathak said.
The accused duped people on pretext of providing digital marketing solutions and had collected money from as many as 700,000 people under this ponzi scheme, he said. This is reportedly the first racket to come to light that used ‘like-trading’ for a Ponzi scheme. The fraudsters tapped into the common practice of buying likes by companies that want to look better on social media. The arrested accused included the company owner Abhinav Mittal and his two accomplices — Shridhar and Mahesh, Pathak said.
Informing about the modus operandi of the fraudsters, Pathak said they used to get people to deposit of $750-1000 in exchange of linking them to social trade business portals. Some of the members had complained against the company at Noida Phase 3 and Surajpur police stations in Greater Noida following which action was taken, the ASP said.
The scheme operated with the help of dubious URLs sent to phones of subscribers asking them to click the link. These included links to Facebook or Twitter profiles of other subscribers. A fake server was set up where these links would terminate.
Source: Indian Express