Police warn investors as fake stock trading platforms swindle crores in Kozhikode

Fraudsters cheat man of Rs 4.8cr saying he could reap profits by investing money through FIIs, IPOs.
Image used for representational purpose.
Image used for representational purpose.

KOZHIKODE : In the backdrop of the shocking incident where a person lost Rs 4.8 crore after fraudsters contacted him on WhatsApp in the name of a popular stock trading platform and lured him into investing huge sums of money, the police have warned investors to be wary of enticements that they say are leaving even experienced investors befuddled.

The person was contacted in the name of stock trading platform Groww. The fraud was perpetrated by misleading him into believing that he could reap huge profits by investing money through foreign institutional investors (FIIs) and Initial Public Offerings (IPOs).

The cyber police said many people, including experienced investors, are falling prey to fake stock trading companies. However, many of them do not lodge a complaint due to embarrassment.

“The Kozhikode city cyber crime police have launched an investigation into the latest case. We want to warn the public about the methods employed by fraudsters which even experienced investors are unable to see through. Among the complainants, 90% are regular investors in online stock trading platforms. However, fraudsters are using the same patterns, information, tips and mobile app user experience designs of professional online trading platforms to dupe investors,” said Prem Sadan K, SHO, Kozhikode city cyber police station.

In the recent cheating case, the fraudsters began contacting the complainant since May through WhatsApp. Initially, the complainant received a WhatsApp message containing a link from the ‘Groww’ team.

When he clicked on the link, he was added to a WhatsApp group. One of the admins of the group, who introduced himself as a strategic analyst, contacted the complainant. An assistant’s number was also provided for further information.

Later, the complainant was asked to install the mobile app of ‘Groww’ on his phone. The fraudsters assured higher returns for large investments. The complainant was asked to pay money to the account numbers that he received via WhatsApp. When he checked his digital wallet, it showed a huge amount. However, it was a ploy by the scammers to convince and induce him to make further investments. A huge amount was paid in taxes as well. However, when the complainant tried to withdraw the amount, he was told that it was possible only if the profit touched Rs 50 lakh or more. He realised the fraud after he was denied returns on his investment. By then, he had lost Rs 4.8 crore.

The authorities have repeatedly advised people not to click on unfamiliar links.

No to unfamiliar links

The authorities have repeatedly advised people not to click on unfamiliar links. The police also urged the public to download apps only from platforms like Google Play and Apple App Store.

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The New Indian Express