It’s becoming harder and harder to tell what’s real and what’s fake online. A group of scammers put everyone’s intelligence to the test after a fake version of cricket’s Indian Premier League was set up to con gamblers in Russia.
The elaborate hoax went all out, hiring a farmer’s field in Gujarat and setting up cameras to film the fake games. According to reports, the players were actually laborers and other local unemployed people wearing official IPL kits with fake team names.
The games were live streamed on YouTube to unsuspecting betting operations all over Russia. The footage was even more convincing when they added a Harsha Bhogle impersonator come in to increase authenticity to the games.
“Crowd noise sound effects downloaded from the internet made the ambiance appear authentic,” reports claimed.
Betting on cricket is illegal in India and four men have since been arrested in connection to the hoax. According to Achal Tyagi, the top police official in the Mehsana district, the men were charged with criminal conspiracy and gambling.
The umpires were telling players whether to score runs or get out depending on the instructions given on the walkie-talkie sets received from the organizers. In turn, they were receiving instructions from an accomplice in Russia on the Telegram app.
“They had umpires with walkie-talkie sets to officiate as they have in IPL and international cricket matches. The setup was good enough to trick unsuspecting people into believing it was a genuine cricket league,” Tyagi said.