Rising ‘Online Task’ Scams: Pune Residents Swindled Of Rs 19 Crores In 187 Cases

Share this News:

Pune, 13th September 2023: A surge in ‘online task’ scams has left Pune residents grappling with significant financial losses as cybercriminals exploit their quest for easy money. These scams typically lure victims through WhatsApp messages, enticing them to join Telegram groups for ‘Work from Home’ opportunities. The scammers promise monetary rewards for simple tasks, such as liking YouTube videos and submitting screenshots.

One of the victims described her experience, saying that after following the initial instructions and completing a few tasks, she received an unexpected deposit of two to three thousand rupees into her bank account. However, the scammers swiftly changed tactics, demanding that she invest money in exchange for more lucrative paid tasks. Greedily, she complied with their requests.

Subsequently, the scammers claimed that technical errors had prevented the promised earnings from being transferred. To rectify the situation, they duped her into investing even more money, totaling Rs 2.5 lakh. Sadly, she soon realized that her entire investment was a loss, and the promised returns were nothing but a ruse.

The Pune Cyber Crime Branch has reported an alarming trend of such ‘online task’ scams, receiving 187 complaints from citizens within the last eight months alone. These unfortunate individuals collectively suffered losses amounting to Rs 19 crores.

While Pune has witnessed a variety of online scams, including fraudulent links related to overdue ‘MSEB’ bills and ‘sextortion’ blackmail schemes, the ‘online task’ scam is now taking center stage. These schemes prey on victims by offering money in exchange for simple tasks, such as liking YouTube videos or posting company reviews on Google. Notably, these scams tend to target educated citizens who may be more susceptible to the allure of easy money.

Despite the rising number of victims, not all affected individuals come forward to file complaints. Some cases are under investigation, while others are in the process of being formally registered as criminal cases. 

Police have urged citizens to exercise caution when dealing with online offers and take preventive measures against falling victim to fraud.

Precautions to Avoid Online Scams:

  1. Before liking or reviewing anything, research the company on Google.
  2. Avoid clicking on unknown links.
  3. Do not respond to messages from strangers.
  4. Exercise skepticism when encountering any offer that seems too good to be true.
  5. Be cautious when using Telegram, as it is a commonly used platform for cybercriminals.


Incidents of Online Task Fraud (January to August 2023):

  • Complaints received by Cyber Crime Branch: 187
  • Total amount defrauded: Rs. 19 crores 10 lakhs 54 thousand
  • Criminal cases filed: 55