Zerodha’s CEO Nitin Kamath recently shared the incident of an acquaintance who was scammed of ₹5 lakh. Anyone who hears the entire story will be gobsmacked to know the extent to which these frauds have become pervasive and entrenched.
It started with one of those part-time job offers on WhatsApp.
Upon accepting it and following the instructions, the fraudsters transferred ₹30,000 to their “prey”. Later he was tempted to invest money in a fake crypto exchange. Initially he was allowed to withdraw the profits but after he invested a large sum of money, withdrawals were withheld.
By the time he smelled that something was amiss, he had already lost ₹5 lakh to the conmen.
In a similar incident, a Pune-based man was duped of ₹8.56 lakh from fraudsters who promised part-time job on telegram channel.
One does not need to be naïve in technology to fall in these fraudsters’ trap. Last year an IIT Bombay’s MTech student was duped of ₹4.6 lakh.
The money was reflected on a webpage every time she transferred money. But it was all a ploy to convince her to put more money into the app.
Some time ago, Arvind Kejriwal’s daughter who is also an IIT Delhi was duped of ₹34,000 when she was lured to scan the QR code in order to receive the payment she was to receive for furniture she sold on OLX.
To protect yourself from one fraud or the other, we give the lowdown on some of the common ploys to defraud customers.
Take these precautions to protect yourself from any of these scams:
1. Part-time jobs: Never accept the part time job offers on social media channels such as telegram and WhatsApp. Any big or small company makes a genuine offer on email.
2. High returns: When there is an allurement of getting an unusually high return on investment made via an app or unsolicited link sent on your mobile phone, it would invariably be a fraud. Investments are meant to be made on credible platforms such as an asset management company, post office, bank or a brokerage firm.
3. Scanning a QR code: Scanning a QR code leads to money transfer and should not be done to receive the money.
4. Never share your ID: There are several stories doing the rounds of fraudsters luring their potential victims into sharing their personal IDs on the pretext of receiving a parcel, or opportunity to invest in an ATM business. So, never share your identification documents with anyone not trustworthy.
5. Restrictions on withdrawal: When there are restrictions on the withdrawal of money after making an investment, it is a big red-flag. Stay away from such platforms.
6. Grammatical mistakes: More often than not, these unsolicited messages and emails have typos galore for they are written by un-professionals.
Even one of the most infamous scams of Squid Game crypto token’s white paper had a number of spelling and grammatical errors – which were seen as the red flags by the cautious investors and experts alike.