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Business News/ Money / Personal Finance/  Man loses 3.6 crore to online fraud: Take these 5 key steps to protect yourself from swindlers
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Man loses ₹3.6 crore to online fraud: Take these 5 key steps to protect yourself from swindlers

Not too long after two senior citizens collectively lost around ₹3 crore in two separate but similar frauds in Ahmedabad, a new case of scam has come to surface in Bengaluru where a 77-year-old man lost his life’s savings to a WhatsApp fraud.

When someone offers steep discount or massive returns (say 30 percent), it is only to tempt you into investing a large sum. Premium
When someone offers steep discount or massive returns (say 30 percent), it is only to tempt you into investing a large sum.

Losing money to an online scam or fraud is not uncommon anymore. But what has become common sadly is the loss of fortune to the tune of crores to hapless senior citizens. 

Not too long after two senior citizens collectively lost around 3 crore in two separate but similar frauds in Ahmedabad, a new case has come to surface in Bengaluru where a 77-year-old man lost his life’s savings to a WhatsApp fraud

The victim is the resident of Rajaji Nagar in the Silicon Valley of India.

He reportedly received a call from an unknown number in March and the caller offered to give high returns in stocks through investments. He even offered to give training to the members like him. 

Thereafter, the septuagenarian joined a WhatsApp group which had a number of other investors. The group’s admin took classes every afternoon for a few days to teach investing.

ALSO READ | Here's how a Navi Mumbai man lost 1.07 crore in share trading fraud… 

After a few days, he was given an option to buy stocks at a steep discount of 40 percent and was shared a link to invest in them.

He was tempted to invest and transferred 3.6 crore. This investment grew to 5.7 crore. When he tried to withdraw the money, he was asked for a commission of 72 lakh by the company.

Last month, a 52-year businessman lost 5.2 crore in a similar way. 

There were two victims from Ahmedabad one of whom lost 1.97 crore while the other lost 1.13 crore to fraudsters. Read this for more details. 

Frauds galore: Follow these steps to be careful

1. Too good to be true: When someone offers a steep discount or massive returns (say 30 percent), it is only to tempt you into investing a large sum. The benchmark index Nifty50 gave 20 percent return in the calendar year 2023. 

If you want to earn good returns, you can still opt for a conventional route and invest in the benchmark index rather than being greedy and falling prey to a fraud.

2. Transaction confirmation: Banks have also taken some initiatives to keep their investors safe from online frauds. A number of financial institutions have launched a facility of transaction confirmation where bank sends an immediate alert before carrying out any suspicious transaction. 

3. Regulated entity: Whenever you create an account on an app or website, make sure you check the reviews of users. It is also advisable to rely only on reliable platforms. Make sure that the investment advisor is registered by Sebi and if it’s an NBFC, it is registered by RBI. You can check the list of RBI regulated NBFCs here

4. Watch out for red flags: Whenever there is an overwhelming offer such as getting stocks at 40 percent discount, it should set the alarm bells ringing instead of trusting them with a blindfold. 

If the app has a small number of downloads, you have all the reasons to be suspicious but even if the number is large, it is not a guarantee of authenticity. Some fraudulent apps may have a large number of downloads as well. 

ALSO READ | Axis Bank defrauded of 22.29 crore by finance firm’s directors, Mumbai police files charges

5. Back out soon: Whenever you have a tinge of doubt, you should back out as fast as you can. The fraudsters continue to tempt victims with offers and continue to fleece them further. So, don’t fall into their trap and drag your feet as soon as you become doubtful and report them fast.  

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Published: 28 May 2024, 06:35 PM IST
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