Crime Branch Of Odisha Police Issues Advisory On Online Investment Fraud

Bhubaneswar: In order to prevent the people from falling prey to online investment fraud and losing their hard-earned money, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of Crime Branch of Odisha Police has issued an advisory.

The CID, in a press release on Saturday, said there has been a steep rise in cases of fraud through online investment apps, WhatsApp group link, telegram group line and other social media platforms in recent times. Many people have lost money by investing in such fake online schemes after being lured by high return in a short time.

The CID CB Cyber Crime PS registered 22 investment fraud cases involving nearly Rs 8.5 crore in 2023. Within just four months of this year, 25 more cases have been registered with fraud amounting to approximately Rs 17 crore.

Though the Cyber Crime Wing of CID CB has been able to arrest many criminals in the registered cases, very less amount of money could be recovered from them as the money was already used by these criminals or siphoned off outside the country.

Modus Operandi of Fraudsters

The fraudsters operate by first inducing individuals to join WhatsApp and Telegram groups promising high returns on investments in a short duration. These groups have own members who make innocent people believe by claiming to have profited from the suggested investments. The fraudsters claim that the investments are made in SEBI-registered and verified companies by using genuine photographs of industrialists or bankers to gain the confidence of the victim.

When the victims try to withdraw their funds, they are compelled into depositing more amount, further pushing them to a cycle of fraud and financial losses.

The accounts used by the fraudsters are often mole or hired accounts. The funds received from victims are often converted into USD, then into bitcoin and ultimately withdrawn at various locations outside the country, including Dubai, China and Hong Kong. WhatsApp and Telegram channels used in these activities are often operated from locations such as Cambodia and Hong Kong.

Safety Tips

The CID-CB appealed to the public to exercise extreme caution when engaging in online investment activities and verify the authenticity of the entities offering financial services.

“They are strongly advised to use only genuine and authorised applications and websites for investment opportunities such as IPOs, stocks, mutual funds, etc. People need to be careful of unrealistic promises of high returns and scrutinise investment opportunities thoroughly before making any investments. By remaining vigilant and following these safety guidelines, individuals can safeguard their money and protect themselves from falling victim to online investment frauds,” the CID-CB said.

It also advised that if anybody comes across any suspicious online activities or falls victim to cyber-related crimes, he should report promptly to 1930 toll-free call centre.

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

Comments are closed.