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Thursday, May 22, 2008

A DigitalPoint Scam Unveiled: Don’t Lose Your Money!

I have made myself an active member of DP forums recently. This is a meeting place of those Internet entrepreneurs, who discuss on various topics ranging from SEO, link building, legal issues, content development, freelance opportunities, etc. It’s a wonderful place, where people with some knowledge come to the aid of newbies.

Also, being a place, where you can sign up for a membership and post your views freely, anyone can have a membership there. Anyone can present their views remaining completely anonymous. And being an amateurs’ marketplace, anyone can sell anything, if they have some reputation in the board posting some useful information and getting some user gratitude.

So, recently, a guy named Ranveer, supposedly an Indian, scammed DP members of almost 20,000 USD and got away. Please read this post, one of the other famous DP members has made about this scam. As a news blog, I felt it right to alert my readers of such scams.

About the scam: It’s a double-your-money program. That means if you invest 20 dollars with this guy, you will get it back in 40. And if you invest 100, you will get 200. That’s it.

But actually this scammer does absolutely nothing with your money.

He advertises in DP that he has a scheme of doubling your money over some work he does, and if you send him a minimal investment, within a few hours, he would send you back the amount in double, from his pocket of course. And to gain trust, he would take disposable amounts of money from other members, in 20, 30 or even 100 dollars. And he would send back through PayPal, the double of the sum.

Within some time, when word on his scheme is spread, and he is backed by comments from some profited members that the scheme is genuine, more people will pour in, some would be willing to send in 100 or 200 dollars. And when the guy has enough of money to cover all his needs, he would erase his Internet identity altogether and get away, only to come back after a month’s retreat in a fresh identity and fresh DP account to scam allover again.

To fight such scams, try to get in touch with the financial program he uses to send or receive money, like PayPal. Contact PayPal directly and alert them of the crime happening. You may also assemble comments from other scammed members.

So, people, be wary of any such scheme, and never, ever do business with online entities not backed by a trusted party. Always use an escrow service for doing business. And my personal request to DP forum owners is that they start some kind of escrow service especially for the transactions happening through their forums.

Copyright © Gayatri Jayashankar 2008