More people in Kerala falling prey to online rummy; victims blackmailed by money lenders

M Basheer

2 min read
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High Tech crime cell DYSP, ES Bijumon stated that even though a lot of people lose money playing rummy online, nobody is ready to step forward with a complaint.

Representational Image | Photo: Mathrubhumi

Thiruvananthapuram: The number of people who lose money by playing online rummy is on the rise in Kerala.

Police has taken this matter seriously after realising that the suicide of a Thiruvananthapuram native youth was caused by the debt accumulated by playing rummy online. Authorities of the High Tech cell stated that such cases are yet to be reported in the state.

Online rummy gained popularity during the lockdown period. Meanwhile, mobile applications offering loans have also appeared. Those who started off investing small amounts later started to put in larger amounts and the ones who lost their money started taking loans. Most of the people who accepted money via money lending apps were threatened and blackmailed.

Those who lost the money without the knowledge of their parents did not file any complaints after they lost the money. Thiruvananthapuram Kuttichal native Vineeth lost more than Rs 12 lakh. He was reported missing and was later found dead. Thiruvananthapuram district treasury scam accused Bijulal had also stated that he lost a lot of money playing rummy online.

There are several applications to play rummy online. The game has to be played by agreeing to the conditions laid by the company. Nobody usually takes the trouble to even read these agreements. Since this game is to be played using their skill, it is not banned online. Although online rummy is banned in Tamil Nadu, the number of people who have committed suicide has crossed 20 already.

Online loan advertisements are also included in the online rummy gaming apps. The money, that is loaned at 36 percent interest rate, has to be paid on time, failing to which threats will be issued. The blackmailing messages will be sent after leaking various information from the individual’s phone.

Experts say that it is usually not humans that play on the opposite side while playing rummy online. The applications that are built using artificial intelligence identify the pattern of play of the individual after the first phase and then take over the game in the later stages.

High Tech crime cell DYSP, ES Bijumon stated that even though a lot of people lose money playing rummy online, nobody is ready to step forward with a complaint. Those addicted to this game can only be discouraged from this through counselling. Awareness campaigns against this will be carried out using social media accounts of Police.

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