Hotel Manager Loses Rs 22 Lakh in Prepaid Job Scam: What You Need to Know | – Times of India

A hotel management executive suffered a loss of Rs 22 lakh in a prepaid job scam where scammers exploited a fraudulent webpage resembling ‘Flight Network,’ a Canadian ticket booking site. The 31-year-old victim explained that the cyber fraudsters enticed him into the scam by convincing him to purchase ‘virtual tickets,’ purportedly to generate artificial demand and inflate ticket prices.Unfortunately, in order to participate, he had to contribute funds from his own pocket. Between November 6, 2023, and January 30, he transferred over Rs 22 lakh to approximately 20 bank accounts associated with the scammers, receiving less than Rs 1 lakh in return.
Here’s all you need to know about the prepaid job scam and how you can stay safe.
What is a prepaid job scam
A prepaid job scam is a deceptive scheme where scammers lure victims into paying money upfront in exchange for a supposed job opportunity. These scams often target individuals seeking work-from-home jobs or easy part-time income. Here’s how they work:
The bait:

  • Promises of easy money: Scammers advertise attractive job offers with high pay and minimal effort. They might claim these jobs involve simple tasks like liking posts, watching videos, or clicking ads.
  • No experience required: They emphasize that no prior experience or qualifications are needed, making it appealing to a wide range of people.
  • Urgency and limited slots: They create a sense of urgency by claiming limited positions are available, pressuring victims to act quickly.

The hook:

  • Initial small payments: They ask for small upfront fees for things like registration, processing, or training materials. This initial payment seems harmless and gains the victim’s trust.
  • Fake tasks and positive reinforcement: After paying, victims receive seemingly legitimate tasks. They might earn small rewards or see their “earnings” increasing, further solidifying their belief in the job.
  • Escalating demands: As trust builds, scammers demand larger payments for “upgrades,” “advanced levels,” or unlocking higher earning potential.

The trap:

  • Disappearing act: Once victims invest enough money, scammers abruptly disappear, cutting off communication and withholding promised earnings.
  • No real job: The advertised job never materializes, and the tasks received are often useless or manipulative, generating no real income.
  • Victims left with losses: Deceived individuals are left with financial losses, potentially experiencing emotional distress and damage to their online reputation.

Tips to stay safe

  • Paying for a job: Legitimate companies don’t require upfront payments for job opportunities.
  • Promises that seem too good to be true: High pay for minimal effort often indicates a scam.
  • Pressure and urgency tactics: Legitimate jobs don’t pressure you into quick decisions.
  • Vague job descriptions or unclear tasks: Be wary of offers with limited details about the actual work involved.
  • Unprofessional communication or poor website design: Check for legitimacy indicators like proper grammar, contact information, and secure connections.

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