WhatsApp KBC scam that offers a potential victim a lottery amount of Rs. 25 lakh is making rounds on the internet. If you have received a message on your WhatsApp number that offers a huge sum, it is advised you do not pay heed to it otherwise you are likely to be duped of large amount of money. Several people from UP, Bihar and Rajasthan, among other states, have taken to Twitter to post such messages which they received on their WhatsApp numbers. Rajsamand city police has tweeted a short video explaining the scam. Delhi Police Cyber Cell has in the past issued an advisory on the same. Media reports suggest that the pervasive scam has been prevalent since last year.
What is WhatsApp KBC scam?
People from different parts of the country have reported that they have got messages on WhatsApp saying that they have won Rs. 25 lakh via a lottery (a form of gambling) by a show called Kaun Banega Crorepati, popularly known as KBC. Dubbed as KBC fraud, this scam involves a harmless-looking message with loads of information trying to convince you that you have won Rs. 25 lakh in a lottery system that you probably have never heard or be a part of.
Since the amount is so large, an unaware person falls into the trap laid by fraudsters and ends up losing money. Apart from the huge amount offered in the scam message, another reason for falling for such a message could be the delivery of the message on a private number. Individuals tend to believe that since they have got a message on their private number, it should be true.
The huge sum offered in the KBC scam message is backed by photos of prominent personalities including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, business tycoon Mukesh Ambani, and Amitabh Bachchan. Since the photos of these personalities are making rounds on the internet and advertisements, people are further pushed into believing the text which also contains WhatsApp numbers of fraudsters posed as bank managers. They move forward to contacting the given number and are eventually duped of money.
As per an explanation in the blog post by Delhi Police's Cyber Crime Unit, when the potential victim contacts on the mentioned number to claim the amount, the fraudster asks for a certain refundable amount towards the processing of the lottery as well as GST. “Once the victim deposits that money, they start demanding for more on one pretext or another. After some time, they start telling the victim that the lottery amount has been increased further to Rs. 45 lakh, then to Rs. 75 lakh, so on and so forth to keep the victim engaged and interested," the blog explains.
It is to be noted that the fraudsters insist on communicating only through WhatsApp and will share multiple bank accounts to deposit money. Sometimes, the fraud goes on for several weeks or months depending upon how long they can fool the victim to get money. By the time the victim realises that he/ she has been duped of money, the fraudsters had already discontinued communication.
How to save yourself from WhatsApp KBC scam?
WhatsApp scam is not a new thing as there have been various cases in the past where people have lost money. Since the messages on WhatsApp are end-to-end encrypted, it becomes difficult to trace the fraudsters. The easiest and best way to not to lose money is to avoid such information-laden, convincing messages that talk about you getting a huge amount of money without you having to have taken part in any activity that involves winning cash.
Sometimes fraudsters will follow up with you to make you realise that you are not being scammed but do not fall into this trap. In case you have moved forward, look for red flags. These may include scammers asking for refundable money, personal details such as your bank account details, debit or credit card details, email address, home address, and/or UPI ID. It is strongly advised that you don't share above mentioned details with anyone.
Are you a victim of WhatsApp KBC scam?
In case you've been a victim, and are duped of your money, you can contact police and/or cyber cell to register a complaint. You should include facts explaining how you came in contact with the alleged person/website and subsequent fraud, provide screenshots of conversations, numbers and addresses (if any) involved, and documents showing evidence like bank transaction statements in your complaint.
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