Mumbai Women Loses Rs 17 Lakh In Fake Airbnb Review Scam

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Mumbai Women Loses Rs 17 Lakh In Fake Airbnb Review Scam

| Updated: June 12, 2024 20:15

Online tasks and work-from-home opportunities are becoming a hotbed for fraudulent activities. Over the past few months, numerous individuals across the nation have fallen prey to online scams, lured by the promise of lucrative returns for online tasks or work-from-home jobs.

A recent case that has come to light involves a 40-year-old doctor affiliated with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation. The doctor, a resident of Navi Mumbai, was duped of Rs 17 lakh by fraudsters posing as representatives of Airbnb.

The scam began in May when the doctor received a message on the Telegram app from a woman named Sahara Kalyani. The message offered an enticing opportunity: earn extra income by spending a few hours each day reviewing properties listed on Airbnb. Intrigued by the prospect of supplementing her income, the doctor decided to participate.

Initially, the process appeared legitimate. After completing her first set of reviews, she received a payment of Rs 11,000, followed by a commission of Rs 983. Encouraged by the prompt payments, she continued participating in the tasks. However, the fraudsters then asked her to pay Rs 11,000 to continue accessing the platform and complete more reviews.

To further build trust, the scammers included the doctor in a Telegram group filled with other alleged participants, primarily women, who shared their success stories and earnings. These manipulative tactics led the doctor to make multiple payments, eventually totaling Rs 17.27 lakh.

As her account balance grew to Rs 37.48 lakh, the doctor attempted to withdraw her earnings. However, she was informed that she needed to pay a 30 percent commission on the total amount to complete the withdrawal. Sensing something amiss, she tried to withdraw her funds without success.

After being denied the transaction, the doctor approached the local Kharghar police station. An FIR was promptly registered against the unidentified fraudsters.

Many similar cases have been reported where scammers use similar tactics to lure victims. To stay safe from such scams, it is crucial to verify the legitimacy of the platform or individual offering an online job, be wary of unsolicited messages offering easy money, remember that legitimate companies do not require upfront payments for accessing job platforms or tasks, communicate through official channels and report any suspicious job offer or scam to local authorities and cybercrime cells.

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