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Money Can’t Be Made Easily, Know That And Be Safe, Says IPS Officers  

Indian Masterminds Stories

As the saying goes, ‘There are no free lunches in this world’. Certainly, lunches are never free as couple of people realized to their agony. They burnt their hands in the quest to make easy money. Beware, this can happen to anyone as greed is an emotion which can’t be controlled easily.

In this age of growing cyber-crimes, this is a new kind of fraud being perpetrated on the people where the fraudsters first allure the victim by befriending him in social media or being romantically involved with him. When victim lower guards, they  engage him in certain schemes or trading. It’s called ‘Pig Butchering’ as they first win your trust – fattening you like a pig – and then dupe you.

But, these fraudsters sometimes reach the police net as well, as happened in Udaipur, Rajasthan. A retired bank manager was befriended by a woman from Thailand. Everything was fine for 2-3 months, they shared a good bond. Unlike many cases, here they had a platonic relationship. Yet, when the time came, she allured him into meta bit trading on a fake platform and won his trust in first few days by letting him make few lakhs. Then, he lost all his life’s money (Rs 55 lakhs) and there is no way to retrieve it. The case has been cracked and the police team under the leadership of IPS officer Mr. Prashant Kiran has even identified the accused but since he operates from out of country, they are not able to arrest him yet. 

These pig butchering scams are prevalent in south-east countries. Now, such cases are being reported in India too. Indian Masterminds talked to the police officials dealing with cyber crimes to understand what is the modus-operandi in such scam and how can one be aware about it.  

THE CASE 

In December 2022, a retired banker got a WhatsApp message from a girl in Thailand. The message was very common and had wrong spelling of the victim’s name. As the human psychology goes, he corrected his name. They shared few smiley and then started talking till February 2023. One day, she asked him to handle her meta bit trading account as she has to go somewhere for free days and she trusts only him. Also, she assured him that all the losses or profits will be hers not his.

Prashant Kiran, IPS (Rajasthan)

Being trusted for your skill is one of the most beautiful feeling in this world. The victim handled it and earned some good money for her (upto 15 lakhs). This gave him the confidence and once she returned, he enquired about the platform with her. Eventually, he was added in a group and was asked to transfer money in a bank account which reflected on his handle on the platform. He played for about 20 days and earned Rs 3-4 lakhs profit. Initially, he withdrew the money and invested it again. His account was upgraded and then he was asked to put big money in three games. He agreed and played two games with all profit and  incurred  a loss of Rs 55 lakhs. He tried to withdraw the remaining money but this time he could not withdraw the money and this approached the police for help. 

THE FINDINGS

Case was transferred to Mr. Kiran for investigation. In his initial findings, he found out that the girl was not fake. It was not a case of a man impersonating a girl as the victim had spoken to her over a few video calls as well.

 However, the entire platform was fake. “The bank accounts on the platform, used to transfer the money to a mule (dummy) account – belonging to some really poor person. We could reach the accused by finding that mobile number being used in various apps to operate the account was operated from some other country.  The number was registered here but accused was outside the country. The case is still going on and we hope to make some arrests”, shared Mr. Kiran with Indian Masterminds

Rakesh Singh, IPS (Jharkhand cadre)

NEVER TRUST A STRANGER FOR FINANCES 

Such crimes happen when one tries to get some easy money. One should always remember that money is really hard earned. People are working day and night for pennies so how can one be able to win crores overnight without any risk. Pig butchering doesn’t happen in a day. It starts with you trying to find a friend on various platforms and then letting your guards down. The fraudster first plays with your emotions and then your money. IPS officer Rakesh Singh from Jharkhand says, “It is difficult to be away from all this. Social media has shrunk the world and people are connecting with those abroad in a jiffy. Plus, we ourself volunteer our information on social media. We should try to avoid it. Also, never trust a stranger (specially, the ones you have never met) especially in financial matters. Always be rational & logical when it comes to money.”

If somebody is telling you an easy way to make money, this should raise the ‘Why’ alarm. Why someone is interested in your profit?

HOW TO BE AWARE 

While it is easy to be the target of a frauduster, it is even easier to identify them. Mr. Kiran said, “One just need to be little aware to find about the frauds. In this case, the website showcased the company was doing business for last five years. But, when we checked the domain, it was registered only in October 2022. Anyone can check that. Besides, the prices shown on the platform was no where near to the reality. One can check that too and compare.”

However, both the officers emphasize to trust only the people around you, your family and friend. “Why you need friends from overseas, whom you don’t know personally or have never met”, assert both of them. Always use your logic when investing anywhere, they concluded. 


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