Crypto-related scams have risen in number in recent times, following the expansion of the sector in several parts of the world, including India. In a recent incident, a 30-year-old crypto investor from Bengaluru reportedly lost over Rs. 2 crore in a scam. The victim, Dhanraj S, a resident of Bengaluru's Jayanagar area has lodged a complaint with the police accusing an acquaintance Santosh TS for allegedly defrauding him. An investigation has been initiated in the case.
Both Dhanraj and Santosh have known each other since 2014. In a bid to extract extra funds, Santosh allegedly convinced Dhanraj to invest in multiple avenues, including cryptocurrencies.
Dhanraj reportedly invested around Rs. 2.25 crore via online and cash transactions in cryptocurrencies and other businesses, which he claims is lost.
For now, the exact amount that Dhanraj had invested in crypto assets remains undisclosed.
The Jayanagar police have reportedly registered a cheating case against the suspect.
Earlier in 2021 also, a 38-year-old crypto investor from Bengaluru lost nearly Rs. 10 lakh in an alleged fraud case.
The incident took place on a crypto trading platform when the victim was trying to transfer Rs 90,000 from a bank account to a wallet but got connected to a wrong helpline number.
At the time, the unknown fake helpline operator took OTPs from the victim and transferred over Rs. 9 lakh to personal wallets. Since based on blockchain, the underlaying technology of cryptocurrencies can facilitate untraceable payments, it is difficult to recover funds lost in such as scams.
In December 2021, Shikha Goel, the Additional Commissioner of Police (Crimes and SIT) of Hyderabad had warned crypto investors in India to strongly refrain from transferring assets into unknown, unauthorised wallets.
“They scammers ask you to share your cryptocurrency details. And once you put it in your wallet, then the money is taken away. If you are going to be using or investing in cryptocurrency, please go only to the reputed and long-established players in this field,” Goel had said.
India is mulling over what regulations to impose on the crypto space.
The government has expressed concerns that cryptocurrencies may be used for luring investors with misleading claims and for funding tasks such as terror activities as well as money laundering.
A recent report from Chainalysis also warned Indian investors after the research firm identified nearly 10 million visits from India on scam crypto websites.
Crypto scams mooched off over $7.7 billion (roughly Rs. 58,700 crore) from investors last year, a report by Chainalysis had revealed in December.
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