WhatsApp KBC scam offering a potential victim a lottery fee of Rs. 25 lakh makes circles on the internet. If you have received a message on your WhatsApp number that offers a huge amount of money, you are advised not to heed it, otherwise you will probably be scammed with a large amount of money. Several people from UP, Bihar and Rajasthan, among others, have taken to Twitter to post such messages they received on their WhatsApp numbers. Rajsamand City Police have tweeted a short video explaining the scam. Delhi Police Cyber Cell has issued an opinion on this in the past. Media reports suggest that the widespread scam has been widespread since last year.
What is WhatsApp KBC scam?
People from different parts of the country have reported getting messages on WhatsApp stating that they have won Rs. 25 lakh through a lottery (a form of gambling) by a show called Kaun Banega Crorepati, popularly known as KBC. Also known as KBC fraud, this scam involves a harmless-looking message containing a lot of information trying to convince you that you have Rs. 25 lakh in a lottery system that you have probably never heard of or been a part of.
Since the amount is so large, an ignorant person falls into the trap of fraudsters and ends up losing money. Apart from the huge amount offered in the scam message, another reason to fall for such a message could be the delivery of the message on a private number. Individuals tend to believe that since they got a message on their private number, it should be true.
The massive amount offered in the KBC scam report is supported by photos of prominent personalities, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, business magnate Mukesh Ambani and Amitabh Bachchan. Since the photos of these personalities are doing the rounds on the internet and advertisements, people are further forced to believe the text that also contains WhatsApp numbers of fraudsters posing as bank managers. They continue to contact the number provided and end up being duped of money.
According to an explanation in the blog post of the Cyber Crime Unit of Delhi Police, when the potential victim contacts the said number to claim the amount, the fraudster asks for a certain refundable amount for processing of the lottery and GST. “Once the victim deposits that money, they start demanding more under some pretext. After some time, they start to tell the victim that the lottery amount has been further increased to Rs. 45 lakh, then to Rs. 75 lakh and so on to keep the victim engaged and interested,” the blog explains.
It should be noted that the fraudsters insist on communicating only via WhatsApp and will share multiple bank accounts to deposit funds. Sometimes the fraud lasts for several weeks or months depending on how long they can fool the victim into getting money. By the time the victim realizes that he/she has been duped with money, the fraudsters had already stopped communicating.
How can you save yourself from WhatsApp KBC scam?
WhatsApp scams are not new as there have been several 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 not to lose money is to avoid such informative, persuasive posts that say you will get a huge amount of money without having to participate in any money winning activity.
Sometimes fraudsters will contact you to let you know that you are not being scammed, but don’t fall into this trap. If you’ve made progress, look for red flags. These could be scammers asking for refundable money, personal information such as your bank account information, debit or credit card information, email address, home address and/or UPI ID. It is strongly advised not to share the above details with anyone.
Are you a victim of WhatsApp KBC scam?
If you have been victimized and robbed of your money, you can contact the police and/or cyber cell to make a complaint. You must include facts explaining how you came into contact with the alleged person/website and the subsequent fraud, screenshots of conversations, numbers and addresses (if applicable), and documents providing evidence, such as bank transaction statements, in your complaint.