Beware of the forex and stock trading mobile applications you download and invest in. As awareness is slowly catching up about fake investment scams that promise huge returns and the FedEx courier scam, cyber fraudsters have innovated and have now floated several fake forex and stock trading apps to cheat gullible investors.
“There have been a bunch of cases reported recently, where people have lost money investing in fake stock and forex trading apps. Once a person invests through this app, it continues to show the investment growing with very good returns lulling the instincts of the investor. But when they try to withdraw the money, the app operators never give back the money. In reality, the money invested is siphoned off and not even invested anywhere,” a senior police official said.
Cases so far
Lured by a woman he met online, a 45-year-old businessman lost a total of ₹1.6 crore to online investment fraud through a forex trading app and lodged a complaint with the South Division Cyber Police recently. Hours later, another 39-year-old businessman from Shankarapuram walked into the station complaining that he had lost over ₹70 lakh on the same day, again through a forex trading app.
Based on their complaints, the South Division Cyber Crime Police have registered separate cases under the IT Act, 2000 and also for impersonation and cheating.
The first victim, Chetan M., 45, a resident of Banashankari 2nd Stage, told the police that he met a girl named Hasini Ravichandran on a dating website a few days ago. Hasini claiming to be employed in an architecture firm and chatted with Chetan on his social media accounts a few times, before introducing him to forex trading platforms. She even volunteered to teach him some tricks of the trade and created telegram customer service Id required for the trade before introducing him to two investment firms online. Trusting her, Chetan transferred a total of ₹1.63 crore through different accounts by RTGS payment mode in December. Within a few days he noticed that there was a growth in his investment and excited by this, he tried to withdraw the money, but it was blocked. When he approached the firms, they advised him to pay taxes and other service charges in lakhs to get back his investment and profit. A worried Chetan shared his experience with friends to realize that he had been cheated.
Similarly, Rajendra Kumar, a 39-year-old businessman from Shankarapuram was introduced to online trading and invested in Blackrock Investment worth ₹36.5 lakh in December. Within a month, he noticed that the total amount was ₹4.5 crore in his account. Excited by this, Rajendra Kumar tried to withdraw the amount, but failed. When he approached the firm, representatives told him to invest another ₹40 lakh to get access to his investment account. He followed the instruction and lost this amount as well.
“These are just two cases of the many being filed by victims of the same modus operandi these days. We appeal to investors to be careful with their money and invest it only through genuine and well known stock/forex trading apps,” a senior official said.