LUCKNOW: Cyber cell sleuths probing the click farm fraud cases have said that the 24 such cases reported in the city in the last six months have a common connection – the ‘Middle East’.
Investigation Officer, Lucknow cyber cell, Saurabh Mishra, who has been tasked with such cases said that the preliminary probe suggests that the operators of such fraud operate from the Middle Eastern destinations, especially Dubai. Mishra added that they are changing the flow of money to bitcoins, to make it almost impossible to trace it.


“Scammers are inviting users to like videos on YouTube and subscribe to their channels,” he said. The officer added that these operators have multiple middlemen working for them in India who use “bank account management”. The scammers use unused accounts of poor labourers and unemployed youths to receive money from the gullible.
These bank accounts have been found in Maharashtra, Rajasthan and even in some cases in Jharkhand and Bihar, said Mishra.
He said that police teams were working, and a breakthrough will be made soon.
Explaining the modus, Mishra said that the scammers contact users (on Telegram and WhatsApp) saying that they are looking for a part-timer who can earn up to Rs 5,000 per day. “After users accept the offer, they are added to a Telegram channel which is operated by the ‘task manager’, who assigns them the ‘work’. Then, the victims are asked to hit the ‘Like’ button on some YouTube videos and send a screenshot to the ‘manager.’ As users keep on liking the YouTube videos, the accumulated earnings are shown on the scammer’s ‘job app’. These earnings are only for display and the scammer doesn’t send any money to the user. Instead, the cybercriminals will ask users to ‘invest’ some token amount (for example, Rs 5,000) to get their accumulated earnings,” said Mishra. “Once the money is transferred, scammers block the users on WhatsApp and Telegram,” he said.
In some cases, it has also surfaced that users are directed to send their bank account details to get the accumulated money. As users share their bank details, cybercriminals steal money from their accounts, he said.
“We have identified some transactions and soon action will be taken,” he added.