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Retired banker scammed of Rs 88 lakh: Instagram users, beware these signs!

Scammers often target individuals to trick them into giving away money or sensitive information

instagram fraud

Photo: Shutterstock

Surbhi Gloria Singh New Delhi

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Recently, a retired bank employee was allegedly duped of Rs 87.6 lakh by cyber fraudsters who convinced him to invest in share trading in Nagpur, Maharashtra. The police have registered a case under the Indian Penal Code and Information Technology Act based on his complaint.

What happened

A 60-year-old man received a message from his daughter's Instagram account, suggesting he could make huge returns by investing after completing online courses on a specific app. He downloaded the app, completed the courses on May 16, and began receiving investment suggestions for various companies. Trusting these suggestions, he transferred Rs 87.6 lakh to the bank accounts of three companies via immediate payment service (IMPS). When he did not receive any returns, he realised he had been scammed.

Another such scam

In April, a 29-year-old woman from Karnataka lost more than Rs 11 lakh to online fraud when she was lured into performing tasks. In her complaint to the Bellare police, she stated that she received a task offer while browsing her Instagram account on April 26. Initially, she received returns on her small investments, which encouraged her to invest more, lured by promises of lucrative returns.

She subsequently made investments of Rs 35,000, Rs 1 lakh, Rs 1.77 lakh, Rs 3 lakh, and Rs 5 lakh on different dates up to May 4. When she did not receive any returns, she filed a complaint with the police.

Avoid getting scammed on Instagram

Scammers often target individuals to trick them into giving away money or sensitive information. They may create fake accounts or compromise existing ones, pretending to be someone they are not. Instagram lists out some common scams to watch out for:

Investment scams: Scammers promise unrealistic monetary benefits, like converting a small amount of money into a larger sum, then disappear with your payment. Watch out for "cash flipping" scams, Ponzi schemes, or "get rich quick" schemes.

Romance scams: Scammers send romantic messages to strangers, often pretending to be in unfortunate situations. They aim to gain your trust over time before asking for money or personal information to supposedly purchase a flight or apply for a visa.

Job scams: Misleading or fake job postings may try to get your personal information or money. Avoid postings that sound too good to be true or ask for upfront payments. Be cautious of links that lead to unrelated websites or ask for sensitive information without using secure browsing.

Lottery scams: Scammers impersonate someone you know or a legitimate organisation, claiming you're a lottery winner who needs to pay a small fee to receive the prize. They may ask for personal information to "verify your identity" before sending the prize.

Loan scams: Messages and posts offering instant loans at low interest rates for a small fee are common. Scammers may disappear after receiving the initial payment or ask for more money, promising larger loans.

Donation scams: Pretending to represent charities, orphanages, or religious figures, scammers ask for donations.

Inheritance scams: Scammers claim to be lawyers or representatives of an estate, informing you of an inheritance. They ask for personal information to process the inheritance.

Commerce scams: Fraudsters claim to sell goods or services online at unbelievably low prices, urging you to move the conversation to other channels. After receiving payment, they stop responding, and the goods never arrive. They may push for quick action and request payment through cryptocurrency.

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First Published: Jun 10 2024 | 11:42 AM IST

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