Pune Researcher Loses Rs 2.1 Crore in Online Investment Scam: Here’s How to Stay Safe

The victim even took loans to 'invest' in the fraud platform.

  • The victim even sold property and took loans to invest on the fraud platform.
  • He came across the investment scam via an advertisement on social media.
  • Scammers pretended to be part of a renowned venture capital fund in the United States.

Investment scams are one of the most common forms of online fraud. The lost amount is usually in lakhs for individuals, but a Pune man ended up losing Rs 2.1 crore in an investment scam. It is likely to be one of the biggest online scams in Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad in recent times. The victim lost the whole amount within about a month, according to an Indian Express report. Here is what happened and how users can stay safe.

Investment Scam Leads to Rs 2.1 Crore Lose for a Pune Man

As per The Indian Express report, the victim is a 45-year-old clinical researcher from Pune. The scammers pretended to be part of a reputed venture capital fund in the United States. The report notes that the victim came to know about the ‘share market investment’ platform via an advertisement on social media towards the end of November. The ad promised very high returns on investment portfolios. As is common in many of these scams, the researcher was then added to a WhatsApp group, where he received links to online share market investment tutorials.

He even installed a smartphone application to make investments and made all the transfers using it. The researcher ended up transferring a total of Rs 2.1 crore on the fraud investment platform. The victim even sold his property and took loans worth Rs 70 lakh to make these ‘investments’. It was only when the WhatsApp group admins asked him to invest Rs 4.33 crore in an oil company’s IPO, that he realised he was being duped.

When he refused to invest as it was a huge amount, admins told him all his previous investments had been frozen. This is when he started calling the admins using the phone numbers used for the group and eventually realised he was being duped. As per initial reports, the scammers used fraudulent accounts for money transfers located in multiple Indian cities. Investigation continues in this particular case.

How Users Should Stay Safe From Such Scams

To stay safe from such investment scams, you should look out for red flags like promising assured high returns with very little or zero risks. First up, any investment platform that asks users to join any WhatsApp or Telegram or any such group should ideally be avoided.

Scammers also create a sense of urgency when it comes to transferring money and try to exploit the fear of missing out on such ‘lucrative’ schemes.

When downloading an app for investment purposes, it is best to check for its authenticity. Do not download apps which are not from the authorised App Store or Google Play Store. Always check the developer of any such app that you are downloading. If any group claims to be related to any investment fund, it is best to check the fund’s official website to see if these claims can be backed up.

Most importantly, users should take their time and never rush into any kind of investment, especially those which offer astronomically high returns. It is always better to rely on credible and registered investment platforms for online investments.