Bengaluru Police are investigating a scam by a fly-by-night online firm — Hoshisms.com — which has allegedly cheated about 3 lakh users.
The modi operandi are all similar: Launch a website, spread the word through advertisements, lure customers into investing money in get-rich-quick schemes, and disappear one day with all that money.
In a second case of its kind in just two months, the Bengaluru Police are investigating a scam by a fly-by-night online firm — Hoshisms.com — which has allegedly cheated about 3 lakh users. “The amount runs into crores of rupees and our estimate is about Rs 400 crore,” Vasanth Aditya, the lawyer representing one of the complainants, said.
A firm named Adooye.com, which had cheated thousands of people (see box). While this case has now been transferred to the Central Crime Branch (CCB), Hoshisms’ case is being investigated by the Vyalikaval police.
According to the FIR, Hoshisms, an online multilevel marketing firm, collected membership fee ranging between Rs 2,800 and Rs 70,000 for providing advertisements wherein the members were paid Rs 50 per advertisement. These advertisements were of big brands such as Gucci, Cafe Coffee Day et al.
The complaint reads: “…I learnt about Hoshisms through a friend. According to the business plan, we had to invest some money to get a user ID and password, using which one had to click and view advertisements for which money was to be paid everyday. In addition, if one introduced new members, more money was promised.”
“The investment starts from Rs 2,800 and goes to a maximum of Rs 70,000 valid for 100 working days (except Sunday). After that we can renew our user ID with re-investment. For example, if one invests Rs 2,800, we were to get paid Rs 70 a day for one advertisement and we’d earn Rs 7,000 for 100 days,” the complaint further adds.
He said he got into the business in July and even introduced his colleagues, friends and neighbours to it.
“By August, they changed the renewal plan to 50 days from 100 and asked us to re-invest if we want to continue and we did. In the last week of August, we did not receive payments and a week later we got a message saying an ongoing audit was causing the delay. From September 29, no payout was shown and advertisements on the website have stopped,” he said, adding he and his team have lost Rs 6 lakh, prompting him to lodge the complaint.
The police said the investigation is on and that a person called Ashok, said to be the representative of the firm in Bengaluru, has been made the second accused (the firm is the first).
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