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the biggest internet scam in the history (of Sri Lanka)

Dinuka Arsakularatne
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Joined: Aug 12, 2006
Posts: 198
one of the biggest internet scams in the history happened recently in Sri Lanka. The main culprits involved in this was two indians from chennai. the police are still unable to find these two. the fraud is for the amount of Rs. 100 million(Sri Lankan ruppes). you can check more information on www.seagullmembers.com

[Edit by Dave to correct the topic]
[ November 16, 2006: Message edited by: David O'Meara ]

if who i am is what i have, and what i have is lost, then who am i?<br /> <br />SCJP 5.0<br />SCWCD 1.4<br />SCBCD preparing
Dinuka Arsakularatne
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Joined: Aug 12, 2006
Posts: 198
Khaleej Times Online

Thousands of Sri Lankans duped by Internet scam
(AFP)

8 November 2006


COLOMBO - C. Sathishkumar was one of thousands of Sri Lankan youngsters who invested in an Internet promotion to evaluate products online in return for quick cash � and like the others, he lost all his money.
Police said this week that the scam, allegedly run by two Indians from afirm named Seagull Softwares, netted more than five million dollars in the past year, making it the biggest Internet fraud case in the country�s history.
Seagull promised that anyone who paid 6,500 rupees (65 dollars) for a �slot� on their website would be able to earn 60 percent a month on their investment by simply evaluating consumer goods online in their spare time.
�I joined in February 2006 and reinvested the salary to buy more slots. Like that, I bought 101 slots. At the end of the day, I have nothing in my pocket. I lost my money which I had saved for my wedding,� said Sathishkumar.
Police Senior Superintendent Willie Abeynayake said about 14,000 people were believed to have fallen victim to the scam and the money siphoned out could be �anything over 500 million rupees (five million dollars).�
�This is the biggest scam of this nature using the Internet,� Abeynayake told AFP. �We have reported the matter to court and the case is being given to the CID (Criminal Investigations Department) because the money involved is huge.�
He said no arrests had been made so far and a preliminary investigation showed that the two Indian men had fled the country after closing down the website late last month.
A website put up by victims of the scam put the number duped at 23,000 since the offer began in January, as university campuses were plastered with fliers and ads appeared in newspapers.
Sujith Prasanna, 19, came to know about the scheme through a leaflet distributed outside his school. He had lost 650,000 rupees (6,500 dollars) by �investing� in 100 slots.
�I first bought one slot for which they paid me after 45 days. After that I started going for more. At the start I earned good money,� said Prasanna.
�But later there was a notice on the Seagull website that said it was under construction, so for nine days I didn�t have any work to do. But later someone alerted me through an email and said the company had closed down,� he said.
Among the biggest losers were people who attempted to subcontract the work to others in the hope of making more money.
�I realise now that these people ran a scam,� said Sunil Jayantha Navaratne, a local social worker who raised money from friends, family and business associates. �I made a mistake. I am going to find a way to compensate them, even sell my personal property.�
Police superintendent Abeynayake said the fraud was cleverly managed so that word spread quickly.
�People who got into the scheme earlier this year received the initial payments so they believed it was a good money-earner,� Abeynayake said. �I think greed led them to re-invest and some parted with millions of rupees.�
Hareen Tennakoon, president of the victims� group, has urged the authorities to seek foreign help to track down the culprits. He said Seagull had sold more than 100,000 slots in October before the website was shut.
With around 30 operators, Sri Lanka�s fledgling outsourcing industry is worth about 100 million dollars, according to a survey this year by the local Information Communication and Technology Agency.
The scam however may dampen interest in outsourcing jobs in the war-torn country of 19 million which has tens of thousands of English-speaking graduates.
�This has given outsourcing a bad name,� Tennakoon said. �The government should step in to ensure better. This is a good lesson.�
Chetan Parekh
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Joined: Sep 16, 2004
Posts: 3636
There is no free lunch in the world � We should remember this. If someone offering very lucrative scheme, chances are more that something is crossing the line.

Most of this kind of fraud can be avoided by applying common sense and consulting other before investing.


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