Dhaka,  Tuesday
18 June 2024

Scammers lure victims into Youtube subscribe trap

Imran Ali

Published: 05:05, 12 February 2024

Scammers lure victims into Youtube subscribe trap

Photo: Collected

A gang has been swindling people across the country, including the capital, by enticing them into subscribing to YouTube with promises of double profits. This scheme has raked in millions, with one such gang recently apprehended by the CID in Panchagarh, after they swindled approximately Tk 100 crores.

According to the CID, three Bangladeshi members of this fraudulent gang have illicitly acquired an estimated Tk 100 crore through the cry-ptobdf.cc investment website. The apprehended individuals are Mosaddekur Rahman Neer (30), Md Anwar Hossain (38), and Shaheen Islam (31).

On February 8, these three members of the deceitful gang were arrested in Panchagarh Sadar and surrounding police stations.

According to the CID, the Cyber Police Center received a complaint regarding a scam wherein a fraudster lured victims with online job offers, initially contacting them from unknown mobile numbers. Once the victim agreed, communication shifted to WhatsApp. The scam entailed tasks such as subscribing to YouTube channels, promising Tk 100 for each subscription. Initially, victims were paid 300-500 taka for the first two days. Subsequently, victims were added to WhatsApp and Telegram groups, where more potential victims were present. Additionally, victims were directed to register on a website controlled by the fraudsters: https://www.cry-ptobdf.cc.

Fraudsters deposited money into victims' accounts on this website, purportedly showing profits from their investments. Victims were then persuaded to invest larger sums, promising significant returns through various investment plans (e.g., investing 5000 taka yields 7000 taka, investing 10000 taka yields 14000 taka). However, once victims invested substantial amounts, the fraudsters withheld the money, citing issues like incorrect investment amounts, frozen funds, or the need for reinvestment.

In total, the fraudsters stole approximately 10 lakh 39 thousand five hundred and forty-two taka from victims. The cyber monitoring team continued their operation, advising victims to file police complaints in order to identify and apprehend the perpetrators responsible for the scam.

Based on the received complaint, the Cyber Intelligence and Risk Management Wing conducted a preliminary inquiry into the matter and uncovered the truth behind the incident. Subsequently, three members of the gang were arrested.

CID DIG Sheikh Nazmul Alam disclosed that Mosaddekur Rahman, one of the arrested individuals, strategically held the Bkash agent SIM and executed fraudulent transactions as per the syndicate's instructions. Md Anwar Hossain (38), also arrested, served as the DSO and agent of BKash, collecting proceeds from shopkeepers and delivering them to Mosaddekur Rahman. The third arrested individual, Shaheen Islam (31), acted as a DSO of Bkash, responsible for gathering Agent SIMs from other DSOs and providing them to Mosaddekur, aiding in fraudulent transactions. It is believed that a significant number of people across various regions of the country have been victimised by their activities.

During the arrest, authorities recovered 6 mobile phones and 10 SIM cards from the accused, as documented in the seizure list. Notably, among the seized SIM cards, 4 were Bkash Agent SIMs registered under various store names.

Further investigations revealed the existence of additional syndicates involved in similar fraudulent activities. Some of these syndicates operate within the capital, while others are situated in various districts outside of Dhaka.

Speaking about the ongoing operation, he emphasised the prevalence of various types of online fraud, highlighting the perpetrators' adeptness in information technology. He expressed regret at seeing such skills being misused for fraudulent activities, noting, "It is very sad."

He urged the youth to channel their abilities towards constructive endeavors rather than engaging in illegal practices. Drawing a parallel, he pointed out that just like skilled police officers utilise IT expertise to combat crime effectively, individuals with technological skills can contribute positively to society. He emphasised that no one can evade accountability for criminal actions, emphasising the importance of ethical conduct and responsible use of one's abilities.

According to the CID, the arrested suspects have been presented before the honorable court in Dakshinkhan (DMP) Police Station Case No. 11, dated 04/02/2024, under Section 420/406 of the Penal Code, pertaining to fraud and breach of trust.