Next time you place a wager on a sporting event online, make sure it’s actually real and not an elaborate ruse pulled off by farm laborers on the other side of the world. Some unfortunate Russian gamblers learned that the hard way.
According to The Times of India, a remote Indian village almost pulled off an incredible con when they created a phony Indian Premier League in order to defraud a remote audience of Russian bettors with fake cricket matches.
To pull off the ruse, 21 different farm laborers and unemployed youths from the village wore cricket uniforms and played fake matches in front of five high-definition cameras, which streamed to YouTube.
The group then set up a Telegram account where they accepted bets from punters in the Russian cities of Tver, Voronezh, and Moscow.
Here it is, the moment you’ve all been waiting for….
Footage of the Fake IPL, which somehow conned people in Russia into betting on it.
‘Chennai Fighters’ off to a solid start, pitch looking in good condition. pic.twitter.com/XtaL5W5zli
— Jordan Elgott (@JElgott) July 11, 2022
To add validity to their broadcast, they added artificial crowd noise and even enlisted a fake commentator who mimicked the voice of Harsha Bhogle, a famous Indian cricket commentator.
The con was organized by a man named Shoeb Davda, who worked for eight months in a Russian pub famous for taking bets. Davda handled all the logistics – setting up the playing surface, hiring laborers to serve as players, and assembling realistic-looking uniforms. A man named Asif Mohammed, who Davda met in Russia, was the mastermind behind the whole ruse.
It’s an absolutely wild story, and the Internet had plenty to say about it – with most praising the ingenuity of the conmen.
Can't stop laughing. Must hear this "commentator" pic.twitter.com/H4EcTBkJVa
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) July 11, 2022
Just incredible. And if they had called it the ‘Metaverse IPL’ they could have gotten a billion dollar valuation! https://t.co/62j974dL2U
— anand mahindra (@anandmahindra) July 11, 2022
This is an incredible story. Farm labourers dressed up in IPL jerseys, a person from Meerut who could mimic Harsha Bhogle, crowd noises from the internet – how a village in Gujarat duped Russian punters with fake IPL. This is a film! pic.twitter.com/uD25C6NsrB
— Naomi Datta (@nowme_datta) July 11, 2022
Who are these legends???? https://t.co/UkSKblLGgC
— Fakhr-e-Alam (@falamb3) July 11, 2022
For the sheer ingenuity of this idea..deserves a big round of applause:-) https://t.co/4ZyT4SR39k
— K Sudarshan (@SudarshanEMA) July 11, 2022
This is one of the best things I've seen on the internet, ever. https://t.co/kV0tRl1d7P
— Aishwarya Kumar (@kumaraishwarya) July 11, 2022
Ultimately, the group was caught and the con was shut down, with police arresting four individuals. Their investigation is currently ongoing.