- Scammers set up a fake Indian Premier League cricket tournament on YouTube, authorities allege.
- The scheme was reportedly designed to trick Russian gamblers into placing bets on Telegram, the BBC reported.
- The organizers used real team jerseys and sound effects to make the broadcasts seem more realistic.
Authorities allege a team of scammers set up a fake Indian Premier League cricket tournment, complete with a Youtube broadcast and team jerseys, in order to fool Russian gamblers, BBC News reported.
Sportsbetters watched the livestream — which actually featured laborers on a farm in Gujarat posing as players — and placed their bets over the messaging app Telegram, according to the BBC.
Scammers would monitor the channel and used walkie-talkies to relay instructions to the fake umpires to rig the phony games, according to BBC.
The stream even had fake crowd noises and an announcer posing as famous Indian cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle, according to the Times of India.
A total of 21 laborers and young people from the village took part in the scam, according to the Times. They wore jerseys of popular cricket teams including the Chennai Super Kings, Mumbai Indians, and Gujarat Titans.
The fake tournament made it all the way to the quarter-finals stage and extracted about $4,000 from the gamblers before police shut the group down, the BBC reported.
Four people were arrested in connection with the scheme and charged with criminal conspiracy and gambling, authorities said, according to the BBC.
The Indian Premier League is one of the world's most-watched sporting leagues, with hundreds of millions of fans watching on streaming services and on television. The League announced last month that its television rights had been sold for a staggering $6.2 billion, according to the New York Times.