Online fraud is a growing social menace in the digital age. On the one hand, it has eased our life and secured many transactions, but on the other, a little mistake or lapse in security mandates can lead to pitfalls. Especially when it comes to investing money, or in deals where large money transactions are involved online, people should be extra cautious and keep a checklist of dos and don’ts before transfering money.
An Ahmedabad-based software engineer, who met a woman through a matrimonial site and invested around Rs 1 crore in cryptocurrency upon her advice, lost all his money after he found the woman to be a scamster.
The victim, identified as Kuldeep Patel, said in the FIR that he met a woman named Aditi on a matrimonial site in June. She told him that she had an import and export business in the UK and asked him to invest in ‘banocoin’ in order to get good results. Believing her, Patel agreed and spoke to a ‘customer care representative of Banocoin’. He then got himself registered on their website and began investing money in hopes of getting good returns. For the first 1 lakh he invested, his crypto account showed a profit of 78 USDT (US dollar tether). He then invested more amount and in total, ended up investing Rs 1.34 crore spread across 18 transactions between July 20 and August 31. On September 3, when Patel tried to withdraw Rs 2.59 lakh from his account, he was told his account was frozen.
Patel then contacted the customer care representative that he had spoken to before. He was then told to invest an additional Rs 35 lakh to de-freeze his account. When Patel tried contacting Aditi, she didn’t respond. This is when he realised that he had been scammed.
Police say, the best way to stay safe from such scams is not to trust any stranger with your hard-earned money. There are ample credible financial investors out there who are qualified to help with investments. Instead of believing strangers, it is best to approach professionals if you are unsure about what investments you should go ahead with. Or else, it is wiser to invest in established banking and non-banking financial institutions that have a strong portfolio, are well known and have a clean, credible record, even if the returns are not that lucrative, they say.
“Moreover, cases of scammers approaching people through dating and matrimonial apps are also rising these days. Hence, even if you want to trust someone you met on such an app, be sure to meet them a couple of times first and get to know them as much as possible before you fully trust them,” a cyber cop said.