Chennai woman loses Rs 7.7 lakh to Telegram job scam

The national cyber crime helpline is 1930. If you fall victim to cyber fraud, call this number to report the incident and get assistance in filing a cyber crime complaint.
Representative image for cyber crime
Representative image for cyber crime
Written by:
Edited by:

A Chennai-based woman has lodged a complaint with the Cyber Crime wing of the Tambaram city police, alleging that she was scammed to the tune of Rs 7.7 lakh in a job scam via the Telegram app. The complainant Radhika (name changed) had recently quit her job after she became pregnant, and was considering getting another job where she can work from home. That was when she came across an online “job offer,” which later robbed her of her money.

It was on Facebook that Radhika first saw a video advertisement for the part-time job, which claimed that users could earn easy money by watching, liking, and reviewing videos on the internet. She contacted the WhatsApp number provided on the ad around 10 am on Sunday, March 10, seeking more details about the job. The person who responded said she had to pay Rs 100 initially to get three video ads to watch, and in return, she would earn Rs 300. “I thought there would be no harm in investing Rs 100 to get decent returns. I was willing to pay and earn,” she said. 

Within 10 minutes after she gave her assent, Radhika received a WhatsApp message that asked her to open an exclusive account at ‘’ (do not open the link). “You need to register for a mission, refund 1300 rs, and earn 36000 rs,” the message read. 

Radhika opened an account on the said webpage, paid Rs 100 through GPay, and received three videos in return. After she watched the videos, she got Rs 300 in her bank account. She later put in another Rs 1,000 and got Rs 1,300, and then paid Rs 2,600 to get Rs 3,900. Within three hours, she had earned more than Rs 2,000, which led her to trust the ‘job’ process. 

Read: Bengaluru tops cyber crime charts in 2022, reports 73.4% of cases across 19 metros 

The user backend of the scam site
The user backend of the scam site

As Radhika got more involved in the ‘job’, she was added to a Telegram group of four people, and was assigned to complete time-bound tasks after paying a subscription fee. Another person on Telegram sent her details of an opportunity to invest “huge sums of money” in bitcoin trading through “reliable agents” on the website, eventually convincing her to invest.

“The minimum investment (on bitcoin) was set to Rs 20,000 and the maximum investment was about Rs 1 lakh. The ‘team members’ (on Telegram) had to choose an affordable investment plan, and we agreed to go with Rs 20,000,” Radhika told TNM. But within minutes, Radhika received a message stating that one of her teammates invested less than the minimum money required, because of which the bitcoin trader “froze the amount” that the team invested and demanded a penalty to refund the money. 

To retrieve the money, she first deposited an amount of Rs 50,000. But she was unable to get the money back and was further asked to pay another Rs 1 lakh, and by the end of the day on March 10, Radhika had used her credit cards to pay up to Rs 1,50,000 to recover her initial ‘investment’ of Rs 20,000. 

Read: Chennai woman loses Rs 1.5 crore in courier scam: Police file FIR after 20 days 

Acknowledgment message of bitcoin investment in the user backend
Acknowledgment message of bitcoin investment in the user backend

On March 11, Radhika was asked to invest more money to complete the time-bound tasks and retrieve the money. Accordingly, she deposited nearly Rs 3 lakh again. “I was trying to support my family by contributing at least a little bit. When that Rs 20,000 was frozen, I couldn’t understand what was happening. All I wanted was my money back, as I did not want my family to know about this. That’s why, without consulting anyone, I deposited more money to get that Rs 20,000 back,” she said. 

It was only much later that Radhika learned this entire “online earning program” was a scam. By the time she lodged a complaint at the Tambaram commissioner’s office on March 14, she had transferred another Rs 3.2 lakh over two days, losing a total of Rs 7.7 lakh.

The Tambaram Cyber Crime police have currently frozen Radhika’s accounts in three different banks in Chennai and blocked her credit cards. Her last payment of Rs 80,000 has been put on hold, and an investigation is underway.

Cyber technology experts say adopting good online practices, awareness, and caution can protect people from cyber scams. Internet users are urged to be skeptical, especially when it comes to offers that promise easy money, huge returns, and quick rewards. 

The national cyber crime helpline is 1930. If you fall victim to cyber fraud, call this number to report the incident and get assistance in filing a cyber crime complaint. You can also visit the website to register complaints. 

Read: Tamil Nadu cyber crime department's guidelines on FedEx scam 

Related Stories

No stories found.
The News Minute