Telangana: 213 trading fraud cases already filed in 2024, victims lost Rs 27.4 cr

Hyderabad Desk

Hyderabad: Victims in Telangana lost Rs. 3.9 crores whereas in 2023 in a total of 627 cases of trading frauds while there have already been 213 reported cases in 2024, with a total loss amounting to Rs. 27.4 crores.

Telangana State Cyber Security Bureau officials said with the rise of digital trading platforms, there has been a corresponding increase in fraudulent activities targeting investors, especially with the fake promise of securing pre-allotment in upcoming Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) by means of institutional investment in the stock market.

These offers take advantage of people’s desire for fast and big profits. Victims are frequently targeted with these fraudulent offers through messaging platforms like WhatsApp, Telegram, Instagram and platform X.

TSCSB director Shikha Goel explained that fraudsters exploit unsuspecting investors by offering enticing returns on IPO investments purportedly facilitated through institutional channels such as Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs). They typically initiate contact through messaging platforms, enticing victims with promises of lucrative opportunities.

Once the victim expresses his or her interest, they are then prompted to download fake trading applications. These applications are designed to grant fraudsters access to the personal and financial information of users.

Subsequently, victims are deceived into transferring funds to designated bank accounts controlled by the fraudsters. The apps are so designed to display fake dashboards showing bogus investment portfolios, which in turn lures victims into investing more funds to purportedly enhance their profits.

However, when victims attempt to withdraw their supposed profits, the fraudsters deny the withdrawal requests, resulting in significant financial losses.

In a case a businessman from Kukatpally suffered a massive loss of Rs. 5.98 crores after joining a Whatsapp group called “Goldman Sachs Business School” and investing in an unauthorized app called “GSIN.” He was lured by the promise of big profits but ended up losing a fortune.

In another case a businessman from New Bowenpally lost Rs. 67.50 lakh after joining a Whatsapp group called “82 Strong Stocks Academy” and investing in an unauthorised app called “Goomi.apk”. He was promised pre-allotment of the “Mobikwik” IPO.

Precautions to be taken

  • In order to minimize the risk of becoming victims of IPO trading scams, investors are strongly encouraged to follow precautionary measures and guidelines provided by regulatory bodies like the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), as well as guidance from reputable stock exchanges and licensed stockbrokers.
  • Stock exchanges are vital for making sure trading is fair and transparent. To reduce the chance of fraud, investors should only trade through reputable and regulated stock exchanges.
  • Investors should pick licensed and trustworthy stockbrokers registered with SEBI to protect their investments. Before working with any broker, it’s wise to check their credentials and track record.
  • If you trade stocks without opening a Demat account with trusted brokers in NSE and BSE, you could lose money. Also, it’s risky to trade through unauthorized apps without a Demat account. So, make sure you have the right accounts and use trusted platforms to trade safely and avoid losses.
  • In case a citizen falls victim to such a crime, the incident should be reported without delay to the 1930 call centre and/or or the nearest jurisdictional police station. Quick reporting increases the chances of recovery of lost money and also helps the police in identifying and blocking such applications and arresting these criminal elements.

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