The Cyber Cell has initiated an investigation into a mobile application known as ‘Foxconn App’, which was removed from circulation after defrauding more than 60 individuals in Chandigarh, causing losses amounting to more than Rs 25 lakh.
On its final day of operation, investors in one of the WhatsApp groups managed by the ‘Foxccon app’ handlers apparently received a message in Japanese language, which, when translated stating, “Good evening. I am in Japan. Thanks to all for the full payments. I will remember all of you. We will open a new platform for cheating you. Bye” when one of the investors, Vijay Kumar, put the message in Google translation to get its sense. The mobile application was launched last year and ceased operations on October 10.
Kumar, who, along with six family members, incurred a collective loss of around Rs 2.72 lakh, told The Indian Express that he was introduced to the app via a friend Bheem Singh. “Initially, I received a refund of my initial investment, which led me to encourage my wife and other relatives to invest.
My brother-in-law, sister-in-law, and two friends also started investing and received returns on their initial investments. However, when our investments exceeded Rs 50,000 each, the app stopped responding, and we suffered a total loss of Rs 2.72 lakh,” he added.
Kumar explained that the app handlers communicated with investors through at least three WhatsApp groups. They established a chain system where investors recruited others. For example, there were 12 investors under him, and 16 investors under his wife. The handlers claimed to be a company based in Japan and never communicated with investors verbally.
Many investors had concerns about the legitimacy of these investments, but continued to invest money into accounts provided by the application. One victim, who wished to remain anonymous, said most of the victims of this fraud are lower-middle class individuals employed in various service jobs.
“Some work as shop assistants, mobile mechanics, or motor mechanics. There are even home guard volunteers working in the police department. I was warned by a relative that such schemes are often fraudulent, and that such companies tend to vanish after some time in the market. I initially thought of investing a small amount but reinvested after receiving returns on my initial investment,” the victim added.
A police officer confirmed the fraud, adding that the police have gathered investment statements, WhatsApp messages, and details of account numbers of at least five victims. “People from Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh have also invested in the Foxccon app. Complaints against the mobile app continue to pour in,” the officer added.
A case has been registered at the Cyber Cell police station in Sector 17.