Online gaming scam involving Rs 58 crore in Nagpur, if you play online then use these tips to stay safe

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New Delhi,UPDATED: Jul 23 2023 1:40 PM IST

By Divyanshi Sharma: As more and more people bought smartphones, the trend of online gaming in India increased. Everyone with a smartphone and an internet connection could play thousands of games, and some of them even allowed people to win money in real life. The trend of online gaming is increasing and in India, last year there were 421 million registered online gamers. This means two things: Indians love online gaming and the gaming market is huge and has immense potential.

However, online gaming has also given rise to several new types of scams, and as more and more people jump on the gaming bandwagon, these cases are increasing. In a recent incident, a friend scammed a Nagpur man out of around Rs 58 crore through an online gambling platform.

According to a PTI report, a Nagpur-based businessman lost around Rs 58 crore when he tried to gamble online. After the victim filed a complaint, the police raided the suspect’s house and 17 crores in cash was recovered along with 14 kg of gold. The suspect, according to the report, is a bookmaker who created an online gaming platform that was used to cheat the victim.

Incidents like these serve as a reminder that we need to be careful when playing online games and be more cautious when investing money in any game. Read on for some tips to keep in mind if you’re a frequent gamer online.

How to stay safe while gaming online

1. Never trust strangers

When it comes to online games, you are likely to come across many strangers in the virtual world who will tell you “schemes” to make quick money. However, you have to remember that there is really no such thing as “quick money” and be careful around such people. Never trust strangers with your hard-earned money and avoid investing any amount just because someone asked you to.

2. Beware of spending real money on games

Several games have in-app purchases and it is up to the player to decide whether or not to do so. However, certain people might try to scam you under the pretense of getting some exclusive in-game items if you give them money in real life. Always make in-app purchases through the app and never pay anyone, no matter how promising the offer may seem.

3. Be aware of the risks

Online games of chance, such as rummy and poker, carry certain risks and there is no guarantee that you will win with certainty. Please read the games terms and conditions and be fully aware of what you are signing up for.

4. Do not share your personal information

It’s best to use a name you made up in the game so that other strangers playing with the name won’t know your real name. Also, you should avoid sharing personal data with people online, as you never know who is on the other side and how they might end up harming you in the future.

28 percent GST on online games

Meanwhile, a 28 percent GST could soon apply to online gaming. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced earlier this week that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) council has given the go-ahead to impose a 28 percent tax on online gaming, horse racing and casinos. The GST board decided the same during the 50th GST Board meeting.

“There will be some amendment to the GST to include online gaming. And, simply put, online gaming, casinos and horse racing will be taxed. They will be taxed at 28 percent and taxed at full face value,” Sitharaman told a press conference after the meeting.

Asked if the move would kill the online gambling industry, Sitharaman added: “There was a detailed discussion on this. Our agenda is not to kill an industry. All kinds of businesses should be kept alive. Casinos in Goa and Sikkim generate a lot of revenue for the two small states… It’s not so much our position, all the states felt it.”

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