Indian lottery scam flourishes on Instagram, targeting unsuspecting buyers

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In a strong effort to become wealthy, individuals from across India have been lured into purchasing lottery tickets through Instagram, only to find themselves losing substantial sums of money. The rise of Instagram’s popularity has attracted a mob of illicit online lottery vendors, migrating from platforms like Facebook. Notably, Malayalis have actively engaged in this online lottery trade, which is predominantly dominated by gangs from Tamil Nadu.

As reported by Kaumudi Online, the modus operandi typically involves sending a photograph of the lottery ticket to the buyers, who unwittingly purchase tickets that are simultaneously sold to multiple individuals. In the event that one of these tickets wins a prize, the scammers swiftly block the purchaser, leaving them high and dry. Most victims of these fraudulent schemes hail from neighboring states, falling prey to promises of ticket delivery via courier or post, which invariably never materializes. However, it’s crucial to note that the Lottery Department explicitly states that merely presenting a photo of the ticket will not suffice to claim any prizes.

Previously, bumper tickets were the primary bait, but now, daily tickets are peddled either as a set or individually on Instagram. A bundle of 12 tickets, with matching last four digits, commands a price of Rs. 450, while individual tickets are sold at Rs 40 each.

Despite repeated warnings from the Lottery Department, including multilingual advisories, these illicit transactions persist unchecked. Efforts to curb online sales have included advertisements on the official website and Facebook pages of the lottery department, yet the prevalence of such scams persists. Presently, authorities are resorting to blocking Instagram accounts in collaboration with law enforcement agencies. Additionally, central agencies have commenced investigations into the illicit online lottery trade, with police registering cases based on complaints filed by the lottery department.

As the allure of online lotteries continues to ensnare unsuspecting individuals, it remains imperative for both authorities and potential buyers to remain vigilant and heed official warnings to prevent falling victim to these scams.