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Report Dated February 5, 2017 4:54 PM
Not that ponzi schemes are not common — Sahara, Saradha and Rose Valley made page one news in leading dailies — but in this one, which lured people to hit Facebook and Twitter “likes” for a certain amount of money could have had much wider impact.
Compared to Saradha, where 1.74 million people lost more than Rs 20,000 crore; or Rose Valley, India’s largest chit-fund scam worth Rs 60,000 crore, or Sahara that duped people for Rs 36,000 crore — the Social Trade scam is just worth Rs 3,726 crore from 600,000 people.
The company, run by a 26-years old engineering graduate, Anubhav Mittal, along with Shridhar Prasad and Mahesh Dayal lured take up members of a certain amount, and then ask them to like Facebook and Twitter links.
Buying social media likes is a common practice in the corporate world. It would not have been a crime if it was just taking money from companies to buy “likes”.
For experts, Social Trade throws up larger challenges. You can reach to large number of people in a very limited time, and online is so sophisticated that you can go untraceable… Online schemes are more dangerous.
But Mittal wanted quick money, and a lot of it.
To enroll, he would ask people to pay up Rs 5,750 (Social Trade offered other tariffs as well), and then a member would have to like pages — for 125 likes every day, he would pay Rs 625, which would be credited to the member’s account.
“This will be your daily income and will be accumulated monthly. If you add more people to the network, you will be moved up in the hierarchy, and you will get some commission on that.”
Ponzi schemes usual peak when fraudsters make most of the prosperous times, by giving outsized returns on small investments. As long as the good times remain, the returns flows in — usually funded by large amounts of membership money. Once the membership money stops coming in the Ponzi schemes go bust.
Between 2008 and 2009, about 160 Ponzi schemes worth $40 billion collapsed, globally.
Report Dated June 20, 2016 3:46 PM
The Bihar School of Examination Board has summoned principals of 4 intermediate colleges after India Today exposed how rate cards were fixed in Bihar institutions for passing and topping exams, and how well oiled the nexus is that involved education mafias, officials from the BSEB, as well as politicians.
The principals have been told to appear before the Board and face an inquiry. If they do not appear it will be assumed they have nothing to say and adequate proceedings will be initiated against them. The Board also constituted a committee to carry out an inquiry into the exposed allegations.
The four principals are from the Sant Kabir Mahant Ram Dayal Das College, the Sanjay Singh Higher Secondary College, the Vasudev Singh Higher Secondary College and the Ram Videshi Singh College.
Report Dated October 17, 2015 4:00 PM
The Central Bureau of Investigation busted open a scam in which contractors peddled counterfeit packaged drinking water on board trains with the help and compliance of railway officials.
The CBI seized some Rs.200 million cash in raids that they recovered during searches of 13 locations, and found that two former Northern Railways officials and seven private companies in Delhi and Noida were involved.
CBI officials said the scammers supplied water other than the Indian railway’s own Rail Neer brand on board trains.
A case has been registered against the former Chief Commercial Managers of the Northern Railways, MS Chalia and Sandeep Silas.
Report Dated July 5, 2015 3:01 PM
Akshay Singh, 35, from the India Today channel, died in the middle of an investigation into the Madhya Pradesh Vyapam scam. He was interviewing the family of a woman whose
death in Jan 2012 is shrouded in mystery, when he was rushed to hospital after he complained of uneasiness in Jhabua.
Police said prima facie there was nothing suspicious about Singh’s death but the post mortem report is awaited. State home minister Babulal Gaur also said a decision on whether the death needs investigation will be taken after the autopsy report is received.
At least 38 other people linked to the scam have died, many in different circumstances and Chief Minister Shivrag Singh Chouhan has come under increasing pressure over the scam with Congress launching a series of agitations against a ‘systematic elimination’ of people linked to the scam.
Around 2000 people have been arrested in connection with the scam that involves politicians, bureaucrats and middlemen. The scam involves scamsters employing impostors to write the tests conducted by the board for admission to various courses and government jobs, and supplying forged answer sheets by bribing officials between 2012 and 2013.
Report Dated July 2, 2015 12:33 PM
The Ghaziabad Development Authority has suspended five officials in connection with a Rs.72 crore underground cable scam.
The scam was carried out in 2010-11 after which the then VC had submitted a report, on the basis of which the five officials – Ramangina Tripati, Amrit Pal Singh, Rajveer Mawi, Kamlesh Pandey and Nikhil Bhatt were suspended in June.