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As per the latest reports, fraudsters from China and Hong Kong have been carrying out several crypto scams on Indian nationals through the popular messaging app, Telegram. The app has more than 120 million active users in India.
Telegram’s usage shot up in the past few years when rumors around Whatsapp privacy started doing rounds.
Consequently, Telegram has become the breeding ground for scammers who use it for carrying out financial investment scams. Crypto investments turned lucrative for traders especially during the pandemic. This has resulted in gullible investors falling prey to scams that promise ‘quick money’.
As per the report, victims are initially asked to join a group on telegram which is particularly created to dupe innocent people.
When a user joins Telegram, they are automatically made part of a Crypto Investment Group without consent. Scammers then use guerrilla marketing schemes to lure users into believing that huge returns are just a few clicks away. Fraudsters then provide a link that directs victims to crypto exchange websites.
Note that crypto exchanges like Binance are used to make investments. However victims are unaware that scammers have already used their own wallet details on the Exchange.
Victims are kept in the dark as they track the crypto purchase and think it is with them but the purchases are already taken away by the fraudsters once the first transaction is done. After several such transactions, when victims try withdrawing investments, fraudsters seek huge sums as withdrawal fees. Ultimately, the website disappears and the victim is left with nothing.
The Cyber crime cell of Indian state Delhi has also taken notice of the rising financial fraud. As a part of this, the police have tracked several accounts involved in such crimes.
Prashant Gautam, DCP, IFSO said:
“This is a new modus operandi which is coming up where the people who are looking for investing the money are being approached through telegram app. Otherwise there were cases earlier also where the people are duped in the name of investment in cryptocurrencies so we are on to it and we’ll definitely crack it down.”
Police have revealed that scammers from countries including China and Hong Kong use proxies to defraud Indian Nationals. According to investigation agencies, Chinese firms or citizens use this money for Terror financing and money laundering.