Stock Fraud: 88-Year-Old CA Duped Of Rs 2 Crore - Vibes Of India

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Stock Fraud: 88-Year-Old CA Duped Of Rs 2 Crore

| Updated: May 16, 2024 18:14

A retired chartered accountant has lodged a complaint with the Cybercrime police, alleging that cyberfraudsters defrauded him of Rs 1.97 crore between February and April, by falsely promising substantial returns from online stock trading.

The 88-year-old Vasna resident stated in his FIR that in the first week of February 2024, an individual identifying himself as Sunil Singhania from Bengaluru contacted him, claiming to work with a stock market expert named Karanveer Dhillon.

Singhania then invited him to join a WhatsApp group ‘Stock Vanguard 150’, where Singhania and Dhillon began sharing stock market investment tips, as mentioned in the FIR. The group also included several other participants. The octogenarian never spoke with Singhania over the phone, and all communication took place on WhatsApp using different numbers provided by Singhania. Subsequently, he was added to another WhatsApp group named ‘Stock Vanguard (XM-5),’ the FIR stated.

They conducted video conferences on WhatsApp and shared user IDs and passwords within the group. Within a month, some group participants posted about the profits they had earned based on the tips by Singhania and Dhillon. Believing them to be genuine individuals, the octogenarian decided to invest his money. The fraudsters instructed him to log into a website they operated, “app.alicexa.com,” and provided him with a link.

The senior citizen completed the login process.

The website displayed updates on various stocks and their prices, as well as details of stock purchases, sales, trading and transactions. Initially, the octogenarian started trading small amounts based on the tips and purchased shares, selling them at higher prices. The website showed his total amount, including profits. Between March 12 and May 3, 2024, he invested Rs 1.97 crore in various stock on this website. Singhania informed him that one could obtain share allotment even after the closure of an IPO and purchase shares on this website even if the share was at the upper circuit, which is not possible elsewhere.

However, the octogenarian received allotment of some IPOs on the listing date and sold these stocks. He found this suspicious, knowing that it was not feasible in the stock market, but Singhania assured him that his money was safe.

The website displayed the Vasna resident’s portfolio value as Rs 5 crore, and he requested to withdraw Rs 1,71,50,000. However, Singhania informed him that he needed to pay a 15% tax to withdraw the amount.

The octogenarian paid Rs 18,70,000 into the specified account. Despite this, Singhania did not allow him to withdraw his money and demanded further payment of 1% of the total asset value. Realizing that such procedures do not exist in the stock market at the time of selling stocks, the octogenarian approached the cybercrime police.

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