Online likes or votes have become a common phenomenon in WeChat Moments, but as everyone knows, there are hidden pitfalls in them.

Not long ago, Mr. Zhang Zhang, an enterprise in Dongtai City, Jiangsu Province, was invited to participate in the competition.

In order to increase the popularity of his company, Mr. Zhang spent thousands of yuan on online voting for "excellent companies". Although he came out on top, he finally found out that it was a "pheasant" vote.

After receiving the alarm, the Dongtai Police in Jiangsu Province conducted an in-depth investigation and found that a so-called "Jiangsu Province Top Ten Machinery Company Online Voting Contest" that Mr. Zhang participated in was actually a scam.

The police smashed the criminal gang, arrested more than 30 criminal suspects, involved more than 3 million yuan, and suffered thousands of enterprises.

Enterprises participate in "free promotion", and online voting needs to be charged

  Ranking determines popularity, and popularity brings benefits.

For enterprises, appearing on various lists is a "shortcut" for publicity and promotion, which has attracted the hearts of many business owners.

  "On a short video platform, someone took the initiative to add me, saying that they could help my company do free promotion, so I sent him my company's information." Mr. Zhang told the police that his company was established soon and needed to be launched urgently. Well-known, happened to receive the "olive branch" thrown on the Internet, and happily participated in the event.

"After the link came out, I mobilized the company's employees and my friends to help vote, but the ranking couldn't go up. I went to the customer service promoted by the other party to see if they could help me improve the ranking." Mr. Zhang said.

  The "customer service" staff was very enthusiastic and told Mr. Zhang privately that if he felt that the ranking was not good, he could recharge through the third-party plug-in in the link.

"One dollar is equal to one diamond, and one diamond is equal to three votes. I charged a few hundred dollars and tried it out. The number of votes really went up a bit, but the effect was not very significant. It was still hovering in the second or third place, with the first place. There is a certain gap. I recharged several thousand yuan, and finally surpassed it and became the first place." Mr. Zhang said.

  Under the "assistance service" of "customer service", Mr. Zhang's company won the first place in the voting, and soon received a medal from the organizer "A Dianping.com".

But it didn't take long for Mr. Zhang to feel that something was wrong.

Because when he was searching, he found that all the websites could not find the information of his own company's competition, so he couldn't help being a little angry, and the "customer service" could not be contacted. He doubted the authenticity of the competition and reported the case to the police angrily.

Liars build virtual platforms, fictitious online competition activities

  "The target of the gang's fraud seems to be very accurate, mainly targeting small and medium-sized enterprises that want to increase their popularity and expand their influence. In just a few months, the number of companies that have been defrauded has reached thousands." Dongtai City Public Security Bureau Criminal Investigation Brigade Xia Xinbo, deputy squadron leader of the first squadron, told the Yangzi Evening News reporter that these so-called voting activities are when the suspects searched for companies on the Internet, and after they entered the scam through communication, they then "tailored" the selection activities for the deceived companies.

  The platform is fake, the ranking is fake, the peers are also fake, only the fraud is real.

The reporter learned that by building a virtual platform, the suspects created their own activities, wrote, directed and acted by themselves, allowing the deceived companies to enter their trap.

Except for the companies that were deceived, the rest of the companies participating in the evaluation filled in the names of their peers in the Internet search at will, and these "participated" companies were unaware of the entire event.

  "A criminal suspect can change the data at any time in the background, and the company's ranking is always 2 to 3, and it is always a few hundred votes away from the first place." Yang Mingfeng, a policeman from the Anti-Fraud Center of the Dongtai Public Security Bureau, said.

The suspects developed special inducement tactics for different companies to stimulate the victims to improve their rankings. At the same time, they set up "rewards" links to allow the victims to buy various virtual gifts to increase the number of votes.

In order to come out on top, defrauded companies often cannot resist the temptation and spend a lot of money to buy tickets.

Only after the victim's recharge reaches a certain amount, the suspect will change his vote to the first place.

More than 30 people cooperated to set up a set, and thousands of enterprises fell into the trap

  After careful investigation, the Dongtai police have mastered the organizational structure, fraud methods, hiding places and capital flow of the fraud gang.

  "The criminal gang has a strong sense of anti-reconnaissance, and it is a part-time job at home to commit crimes, which brings certain difficulties to the police's arrest work." Dongtai police said.

To this end, they formulated a detailed arrest plan to ensure that the principal and key members arrived at the first time. At the same time, they sent multiple arrest teams to arrest the salesmen according to the location of the den. The gang was successfully destroyed, and more than 30 people were killed. The suspect was arrested.

  It is understood that since August 2021, the gang has added the contact information of small and medium-sized business owners through online media, fabricated industry voting activities, made online voting links, and guided recharge and votes, accumulatively defrauding more than 1,000 companies, involving more than 3 million yuan.

 Police reminder: There are many "vests" in the voting scam

  The police handling the case told reporters that this kind of voting scam is not uncommon. In recent years, similar cases have occurred in many places, and they are swindling and cheating under the banner of industry evaluation.

The police have also issued reminders many times, but many businesses are still deceived.

  In addition to the cases of enterprise ranking voting in this article, there are also some fake online votes that use gimmicks such as "child star selection" to call on parents to canvass votes for their children, and some "fan circle girls" will also encounter rankings for their own "idol". fake voting links using similar modus operandi.

Fraudsters use the vanity of some people to commit fraud by canvassing votes.

In fact, as long as you pay a little attention, you will find that these fake votes are full of loopholes. Either there is no clear organizer, or the contestants are deliberately guided to "krypton gold" to vote.

  The police reminded that the general public should actively improve their awareness of prevention. As a kind of fraud method, telecommunications and network fraud keep updating their masks, but while enjoying the convenience and dividends brought by the Internet, they must also keep their "money bags" tight. Keep your eyes open to prevent liars from taking advantage.

Whether it is an enterprise or an individual, when participating in some commercial voting activities, it is necessary to fully screen the sponsor's qualifications, evaluation process, and selection rules to ensure its legitimacy.

At the same time, in the process of participating, it will resolutely resist the illegal payment and ticket brushing and other behaviors, and report to the police in time.

(Correspondent Cao Lei Fan Hanjuan Yangtze Evening News/Ziniu News reporter Mei Jianming)

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