LAHORE: The Federal Investigation Agency has unearthed a Rs2 billion ‘online’ scam in which more than 5,000 people have been defrauded.
“We have arrested the prime suspect, Liaquat Ali, from Sialkot. He and nine others are involved in Rs2 billion fraud which they committed by setting up a website – e2click.com – through which they asked people to get registered with them against certain amount and earn profits (by posting and clicking advertisement),” FIA Cyber Crime Punjab Deputy Director Sajjad Bajwa told Dawn on Wednesday.
Mr Bajwa said the owners of e2click.com won confidence of their ‘clients’ by giving away a few thousands rupees in ‘profit’. “Once they start believing that the website is genuine they invest more,” he added.
Fraudsters operated website from June to November 2015
He said more than 5,000 people were affected by the scam.
“We have detected Rs200 million in a couple of accounts of the prime suspect. We are conducting raids to arrest his accomplices and will recover the looted money,” he claimed.
Giving details, he said Liaquat Ali and Ahsan Raza, along with their family members had launched the website business in Faisalabad in June 2015 and closed it in November the same year. They allegedly had backing of some ‘influential politicians’ of the district, he added.
“The suspects have also laundered huge sums abroad. A case under money laundering will also be registered against them after getting evidence,” Mr Bajwa said.
The FIA has received dozens of complaints against the website owners. “Initially we had no idea of the scale of the fraud. During investigation it turned out to be a scam of billions. Some of the affected people invested up to over Rs10 million to make easy money online,” he said.
The FIA has sent the laptops and mobile phones recovered from the suspect for forensic examination.
According to another official, still there are a number of such websites which are fleecing people.
“As it is not easy for the victims to trace such websites on their own, we ask them to approach FIA if they are defrauded online,” he said.
Courtesy : Dawn News