Hyderabad: The urge to earn quick money is landing several innocent people in trouble with fraudsters swindling their hard earned money in the name of multi-level-marketing (MLM) or Ponzi schemes.
With more and more complaints pouring in after being cheated by MLM companies, the Cyberabad police realised the importance of nipping such cases in the bud and set up a dedicated Economic Offences Wing (EOM) six months ago to crack the whip on scamsters.
Since its inception, the wing has launched a crackdown against those indulging in economic offences under the guise of MLM schemes.
With its market intelligence unit and field surveillance teams, the wing has nabbed perpetrators of fraud firms such as the Haryana-based Future Maker Life Care (FMLC) Private Limited, Pro Healthywayz International LLP, Sun Pariwar Group of Companies, Soft Integrate Multi Tools Private Limited (Karakkaya/Inkseed Scam), and QNet among others. So far, Rs 244.4 crore swindled by such firms has been frozen by the police in various bank accounts.
The police also recovered Rs 2.75 crore from the scamsters, apart from seizing other properties. Taking advantage of people’s desire to earn money easily without much hard work, fraudsters are luring people through Ponzi schemes offering high returns along with bonus if they invest money in their scheme and enroll others with lucrative perks and performance based rankings.
The fraudsters were mainly targeting unemployed youth, housewives and retired employees promising them to get additional income, the police said.
Take for instance the FMLC scheme fraud busted by Cyberabad police a few months ago. The prime suspect, Radhe Shyam of Haryana, had previously worked for two MLM firms and gained experience with their modus operandi. He and his partner Bansilal registered FMLC under ROC, Ministry of Corporate Affairs.
A website with brochures was also released to woo customers. His associates conducted seminars and gave advertisements through social media and daily newspapers through which the gullible fell into the trap and became members by paying Rs 7,500.
On joining two more members as their down liners, members were promised a commission of Rs 2,500 per month up to 24 months total amounting to Rs 60,000.
Gullible persons lost their money by enrolling into the scheme after purchasing poor quality products, with the commission too not coming after they failed to enroll more members. Lakhs of people across the country fell prey to the fraud, the police said.