Pune man loses ₹2.1 crore to online fraud: How to keep yourself safe from cyber criminals?

A Pune man was recently conned of a whopping over 2.1 crore by cyber criminals in a well-organised fraud. 

The victim went to the extent of borrowing 70 lakh, and used the proceeds of his house in order to invest. Although it appears startling to cough up a whopping 2.1 crore on the nudging of an obscure investment platform, it is more than what meets the eye.   

The investment platform very subtly enabled the investor to transfer 3 lakh to his bank account from this platform which made him believe that the platform carries out legitimate investment activity.  

It is vital to remember that this was not first-of-its-kind online fraud. A number of such con jobs have taken place across the country in the recent past. Rajesh Kumar, CEO of India Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C) recently was quoted in a media report saying that India has lost RS 10,319 crore to reported cyber heists since April 2021. 

Out of this money, 1,127 crore belonging to 4.5 lakh victims was blocked on account of prompt government initiatives. However, only 9 to 10  per cent of this money was returned to the victims.

The bad news is that these con artists are tech savvy, but the good news is that the modus operandi that they use is similar in most — if not all — of these cases.

If you want to protect yourself and your money from fraud (s) of any nature, be extra cautious and make sure you follow the steps mentioned below.

Four steps to save yourself from cyber criminals

Reputation matters: Don’t get carried away with the promise of high returns. Invest only via virtual platforms that are reputable and are often quoted in the media reports. 

Also, it helps if you have seen the founder or CEO on business channels, or your friends or family have recommended the platform. In the matters of investment, it is advisable to follow recommendations. 

Don’t fall prey to your greed: No matter how smartly the fraudster plays, you can save yourself if you are not greedy. The greed of maximising your returns is a weakness, and it prompts gullible investors to make investment far beyond their investible corpus. 

For instance, in the case of this Pune victim, he was induced to sell off his property to raise money for the purpose of investment. 

Going to this length in order to invest usually stems from a profound desire — bordering on greed — to maximise the returns. 

Exercise caution: Merely checking the claims of an investment platform on social media is not adequate. It is imperative to make phone calls, speak to the people who are sending you texts on Whatsapp and even checking the veracity of their claims from credible sources.

You may also check if the company has a physical office and if it’s located in the same city as yours, it does not harm to visit the place, particularly if you plan to invest a large sum. 

In this case, the Pune man was released after transferring 2.1 crore that he had never spoken to a single representative from the investment platform.

No extraordinary returns: One of the most common ploys of fraudsters is to woo investors by offering extraordinary returns which s/he would not earn on regular investment platforms such as mutual funds or stocks. 

It is the investor’s desire to earn extraordinary returns which induces him/her to invest large sums in these fraudulent platforms. 

So, whenever someone promises you a disproportionately high return, it should simply ring the bell. It’s better to run away, it is a trap! 

Remember that the ‘return on investment’ is never more important than the ‘return of your investment’.

Unlock a world of Benefits! From insightful newsletters to real-time stock tracking, breaking news and a personalized newsfeed – it’s all here, just a click away! Login Now!

Catch all the Business News, Market News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on Live Mint. Check all the latest action on Budget 2024 here.
Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates.


Published: 04 Jan 2024, 04:33 PM IST

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button