Would sending your digital assets to an unknown trader risk you falling victim to crypto fraud? One Indian businessman did, and now he is out equal to a quarter of a million dollars. The Times of India calls it one of the biggest cyber frauds in Telangana, a state of 38 million people.
A Hyderabad businessman lost two crores (about $242,000) in just two months due to a fraudulent scheme on social media. According to a Times of India report on Thursday, the scammers lured him with promises of high returns and convinced him to invest in their fake crypto trading platforms. The Times of India identified the victim only by a pseudonym.
The victim came across an ad for bitcoin trading while browsing Facebook on March 6, the newspaper reported. The link redirected him to a WhatsApp chat page with a Bitcoin website link and instructions to sign up.
Binance Used Victim, Assets On Hand Then
However, in a strange twist, the victim claims he downloaded the Binance app to buy USDT, a stablecoin. But then he sent the cryptocurrency to the fraudsters.
This means that the individual launched the interface of the most popular crypto exchanges in the world, which can be complicated especially for first-time users, and only then handed over his assets.
The anonymous person reportedly had access to a «virtual wallet» where he could see his investment grow exponentially. However, the fraudsters insisted on more investments for a complete withdrawal. Then, when he refused, they shut down the virtual wallet and the fake website. It was reported that the businessman took loans from banks, friends and business partners to finance his investments. He hoped to make 10 crore ($123 million) quickly.
The Times of India described the crime as one of the biggest cyber frauds to hit Telangana. That’s saying something, in a state with 38 million residents.
A similar Crypto Scam took $1.5 million
What is most remarkable about the crime is how avoidable it was. Many crimes in crypto are the result of crypto illiteracy. Although, this does not seem to be the case in this case.
According to CryptoLiteracy.org, only 9% of Americans scored a passing grade on their Crypto Literacy Test. This is an amazing figure when you consider that most who come to that test must already be familiar with crypto. Although India ranks near the top (4th) in terms of public crypto adoption, so the figure could be higher.
However, recently World Bank Report It has been revealed that seven countries, including India, are home to half of the world’s 1.4 billion adults without access to formal banking. So crypto fraud isn’t the only concern. Banks around the world are also pushing more and more digital services to their customers. It raises the question: if a skilled businessman can fall for a WhatsApp-based scam, how safe is everyone else?
It is not known whether the victim was offered a brokerage service, where crypto is purchased and invested on behalf of the individual.
Another person reported losing 12.3 lahk ($1.5 million) in a similar scam the day before the first victim contacted the police. “We wrote to the crypto exchange company to get details. But, it is almost impossible to identify the receiver and recover the amount lost in investment frauds,” a police official told The Times of India.
Adhering to Trust Project guidelines, BeInCrypto is committed to unbiased, transparent reporting. This news article aims to provide accurate and timely information. However, readers are advised to independently verify facts and consult a professional before making any decisions based on this matter.
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