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Govt blocks 100 websites involved in job scams, illegal investments

The government on Wednesday said that it has blocked 100 websites involved in organized crime or task-based part-time job frauds after the Ministry of Home Affairs through its vertical National Cybercrime Threat Analytics Unit (NCTAU) identified them and recommended the same.

The government in a statement on Wednesday said that the Indian Cybercrime Coordination Centre (I4C), an initiative of the Ministry of Home Affairs, through its vertical NCTAU, had last week identified and recommended over 100 websites involved in organized investment or task-based part-time job frauds.

“Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), invoking its power under the Information Technology Act, 2000, has blocked these websites,” the government said. The government said that these websites, facilitated task-based or organised illegal investment-related economic crimes, were learned to be operated by overseas actors and they were using digital advertisement, chat messengers, and a mule or rented accounts.

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It said that it was also learned that proceeds from the large-scale economic frauds were seen to be laundered out of India using card networks, cryptocurrency, overseas ATM withdrawals, and international Fintech companies.

The government said that several complaints were received through the 1930 helpline and NCRP and these offenses were posing a significant threat to the citizens and also involved data security concerns. The modus operandi of these websites was also explained. The fraud starts by launching targeted advertisements on platforms like Google and Meta using keywords like “Ghar baithe job” or “Ghar baithe Kamai kaise karen” in multiple languages.

Targets are mostly retired employees, women, and unemployed youth looking for part-time jobs. Upon clicking the advertisement, an agent using WhatsApp/Telegram starts a conversation with the potential victim, who convinces them to perform some tasks like Video Likes and Subscribe, Maps Rating, etc.

Upon completion of the task, the victim is given some commission initially and is asked to invest more to get more returns against the given task. After gaining confidence, when the victim deposits a larger sum, deposits are frozen and thus the victim is duped.

The Ministry of Home Affairs also asked users to be alert and take precautions, especially before investing in any such very high commission-paying online schemes sponsored over the internet.

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