The Economic Offences Wing (EOW), which part of the Mumbai Police’s Crime Branch in India, plans to use social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook to spread awareness about financial scams.
The move is aimed at improving interaction and intelligence gathering in light of the increasing number of such scams.
Serial scams typically involve multi-level marketing schemes, in which victims are made to believe that they are investing in a good scheme and asked to recruit more investors for more incentives, or investment scams, in which people are persuaded into investing money in exchange for lucrative returns.
Relying on word-of-mouth for publicity, many of these schemes are not reported until it is too late.
“By the time a complaint is made, the accused cheats hundreds of people to the tune of lakhs or crores of rupees,” said an EOW officer.
“Awareness about the modus operandi of such schemes will prevent people from falling prey to such scams, and might motivate them to report such scams to us if they know of any such schemes being promoted.”
Recently, the EOW arrested the grandson and son of Bollywood lyricist Hasrat Jaipuri, as well as Madras Cafe actress Leena Maria Paul, for one such investment scam. It was alleged that the accused cheated almost 1,000 people over a period of one year.
The officer noted that the case was unusual because the arrest was made based on information rather than a formal complaint.
“We need to make more such information-based arrests, which will act as a preventive as well as a deterrent,” said the officer.
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