Hyderabad: When official meetings are held on Zoom and Webex Meet, or friends and celebrities are using Zoom and WhatsApp group video calls to catch up during the lockdown, can the fraudster community be far behind?
According to the police, multilevel marketing fraudsters are using popular online video conferencing applications such as Zoom and Skype among others to promote their illegal money circulation ponzi schemes. They are organising virtual meetings, seminars and lectures on different online platforms to cunningly persuade people into joining their illegal schemes.
According to the Cyberabad Police, it was recently observed that during the lockdown period, many fraudsters who are involved in multi-level marketing were using online video conferencing to promote illegal money circulation schemes.
Cyberabad Police Commissioner VC Sajjanar said several complaints on people being cheated in this way were coming in through social media, phone calls and messages and that necessary action would be taken on people or companies promoting illegal money circulation and ponzi schemes.
“They are targeting unemployed youth, IT professionals, small-scale industrialists and also college students by brainwashing them and promising that they will help them build their own business empires,” Sajjanar said.
Once a new member joins the business through a referrer or promoter after paying money, the new member gets some products and the promoter gets a commission. The promoter then asks the new member to enroll two or three more others and with the number of members increasing, those on top of the list get more commission.
“The business model of these companies are simple pyramid schemes in which the early entrants earn money or commission and as the number of persons down the line increases, finding more new members to join becomes difficult or impossible,” Sajjanar said, adding that those who join later do not earn enough to cover their first outlay and the model collapses.
Rohini Priyadarshini, DCP (Crimes), Cyberabad, urged citizens, especially youngsters and job aspirants, not to fall prey to such money circulation schemes that are promoted as multi-level marketing, network marketing, referral marketing, chain marketing, or direct Selling to mention a few names.
“Whatever name they use, all are money circulation schemes, which are banned in India under provisions of the Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act,” the DCP said.
Marketing fraudMarketing fraud
• Multilevel marketing fraudsters active during lockdown
• Cyberabad Police warn public against falling prey
• MLM fraudsters using video calling apps to attract customers
• Virtual meetings, seminars and lectures held via video calling apps
• Money circulation schemes banned under Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act
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