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Sunday, April 14 2024
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Zerodha CEO Warns: ‘Pig Butchering Scam’ Targets Indians

Bumble
Photo Credit : IANS

New Delhi: Online brokerage company Zerodha founder and CEO Nithin Kamath has expressed concerns about the rising number of Indians falling victim to “Pig Butchering,” also known as “romance” scams, amid a surge in these crimes.

The scope of pig butchering scams in India reaches into tens of thousands of crores, according to a post made by Kamath on X, the former Twitter platform. The number of people who fall for fraudulent job offers, shady high-return investment schemes, cryptocurrency investments, etc., is alarming.

“As the name implies, a pig butchering scam involves fattening the victim before butchering. Scammers gain the trust of users by using fake profiles. They use the pretence of love and friendship to gain the trust of users and then induce them to send money for jobs and high-return investments and steal the money. These scams are global, and their scope is staggering.

“What makes these scams even more cruel is that the person scamming could also be a victim of another type of scam. Many fall into the trap of international job offers from scammy companies. Once abroad, they are held captive and forced to scam Indians by building trust using social media platforms, typically using fake profiles of the opposite sex. Check out the link in the comments of a harrowing story of an Indian who was lured by an international job offer. The person was then moved to Myanmar and forced to commit pig butchering scams on Indians,” he posted.

“Considering the scope of the issue, it is imperative to have frequent conversations about this with as many people as you can. Whether they are well-educated or not, everyone in our immediate vicinity has the potential to become a victim. A job abroad and quick money are a honeypot that causes many Indians to behave impulsively. The government is recruiting in an effort to combat and enhance India’s response to cybercrime through its cybercrime division. You may visit @Cyberdost.

A journalist from Delhi recently became a victim of a scam run by a woman he met on the Bumble dating app. After the misleading encounter, he went to “The Race Lounge and Bar” in Rajouri Garden, west Delhi, where he allegedly ended up paying about Rs 15,000 for poor food and drinks.

Archit Gupta described the incident in detail in his social media platform X account. He described how Divya Sharma, a woman using an alias (later revealed by Truecaller to be Aifya), reached out to him on Bumble, and what transpired after that.

“Let’s try Bumble and see if there’s someone real to date,” I reasoned. I was approached by Divya Sharma (fake name), who asked to meet at Rajouri Garden. She persuaded me that she was seeking significance in her search.

“She brought me to The Race Lounge and Bar, a bar. I wasn’t sold on the location, but Aifya (her real name according to Truecaller) insisted that I sit there. She placed an order for herself some drinks. As I don’t drink, I placed my order for a Red Bull. Rs 15,886 was the total cost for a hookah, two to three glasses of wine, one vodka shot, chicken tikka, and a water bottle, he added.

“When I saw the bill, I was astounded. My bill was paid. Due to a problem with their machine, they tapped my card four times. After using the restroom prior to departing, I realized that the bill I had placed on the table had disappeared. She was adamant about leaving, claiming her brother was on his way to get her. This is a scam, I realized when I got home.

“I checked, and she had just disappeared and was not picking up my calls. Then I searched and found a story on a media outlet, and I got to know about how these clubs and bars are hiring girls and doing this fraud. This is not just about money; this is emotional and mental abuse for a person who thinks that the person sitting in front of him is genuine. I investigated the whole thing and found some reviews on the Google page of that lounge,” he further wrote.

“This post is not about how I lost my money; this is about these people fooling many boys, and this is not just a fraud; this is emotional harassment. They don’t have any fear; they hired bouncers to force people to pay the unfair bill. This whole racket is big, and they are operating in many cafes and clubs in the Rajouri Garden Area,” Gupta wrote.

A 25-year-old African national was detained by Delhi Police in September on suspicion of defrauding people by creating fictitious profiles of NRIs who were US and UK citizens employed as pilots and doctors. The defendant was named as Big Jos, also known as Joseph, a Ghanaian who currently resides in Chander Vihar. Under the guise of sending them pricey gifts, he had conned a number of people via WhatsApp and Instagram. His accomplice then called the victims and demanded payment in lieu of customs duties.

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