Express press service
KOCHI: Beware of fake stock trading apps and websites because several people have been cheated after making investments expecting high returns. Kochi Cyber Police Station recently registered a case based on a complaint from a resident of Thrikkakara who lost Rs 2.55 lakh, after being cheated by two people promising to invest the money through a popular online brokerage firm.
Ramesh Narayanan, who has experience in equity investing, was allegedly cheated by Amith, who is said to be a native of Pune who claimed to be an independent trader, and Rajveer, who claimed to be a resident of Indore who turned presented as the director of an equity research firm. .
“I was doing stock investing on some of the well-known trading platforms before. However, these two people contacted me by phone and WhatsApp to convince me to invest on another platform. Rajveer is the one who tried to convince me to invest. I checked their website which looked very convincing. I transferred the amount by bank transfer between January 1 and January 10 of this year. The bank account details were similar to those of the online brokerage firm,” he said.
Ramesh realized he had been cheated when he checked the bank transfer details and did not get the promised returns. “From the details of the bank transaction, I realized that the money was not going to the account of the trading platform. Instead, it went to some personal accounts. In the meantime, they have demanded Rs 10 lakh more which I refused. For convincing me, they wired a small amount to my account. I went to court which ordered the police to start an investigation. Following this, the police froze their bank accounts but only 10,000 rupees were there,” he said.
The case was filed for cheating, impersonation and criminal breach of trust. Police said attempts were underway to identify the duo. A stock trading expert says people should be careful before investing through the proliferating apps and websites. “SEBI has a list of investment advisers on its website. Similarly, approved commercial companies are listed on the SEBI website. Proper verification should be done before investing money in stocks. During the lockdown period, many people created demat accounts and started trading stocks after taking small investments from the public,” he said.
“People who start investing in stocks should understand that profits and losses are subject to market risk. Fake companies keep investors in the dark by promising profits and not explaining the risks involved. Expert Jiyas Jamal in cyber law and founder of the NGO Cyber Suraksha Foundation, said he had several clients who were duped after investing money through fake stock trading apps and websites.
“One of our clients from Thrissur had lost Rs 3.5 lakh after investing with a company that approached him. They convinced him by showing their websites, testimonials, PAN and GST details. They first gave a small amount back from stock trading. However, one day his account turned out to be frozen,” he said.
“When we raised the matter with the authorities, it was found that the company which had taken investments was involved in the share fraud and Hyderabad Police had frozen all accounts related to the company.”
According to Jiyas, these fraudulent companies hire agents in the state to collect the investments. He said investments should only be made after thorough verification. Likewise, no investment should be made after being referred by someone.
“When money is lost, people hold these agents accountable. Agents are convinced by fraudulent companies promising high benefits like overseas tours, luxury cars and apartments,” he said.
- Fraudulent companies hire agents in the state to collect investments from gullible people. Investments should only be made after thorough verification, experts warn
- Several people have been duped after investing through fake apps and websites