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Kolkata Resident Falls Victim To Online Investment Fraud And Loses Rs 20 Lakh; Read Full Story

New Delhi: Online investment scams have been on the rise lately, posing a growing risk to individuals looking to invest their money online. These scams, known for their deceptive tactics and false promises of high returns have become increasingly common. As more people turn to the internet for investment opportunities, scammers have adapted their methods making it harder for unsuspecting investors to detect fraudulent schemes. 

In a recent event, Sandeep Sarkar from Kolkata was victimized by an online stock trading scheme which resulted in a staggering loss of Rs 20 lakh. Initially unaware of the potential financial harm, he joined an online community offering advice for enhancing his online trading activities. However, he soon realized the substantial financial setback, as reported by  The Indian Express report. (Also Read: Beware iPhone Users! Don’t Put Your iPhone In A Bag Of Rice; Here’s Apple’s Advice)

As per police statements, both the 58-year-old man and his 27-year-old son are battling cancer, and opted to invest in stocks to enhance their financial support for treatment. They routinely invested using his demat account. (Also Read: Microsoft To Expand AI And Cloud Infrastructure In Spain, Says Vice Chair Brad Smith)

“In December, I came across a link on Facebook inviting people to attend a free online course on stock trading. I attended the course to learn new things and the organisers then added me to a WhatsApp group. I was even given a certificate on attending the course which I later realised was fake,” Sarkar was reported as saying.

He further added, “The webinar’s organisers added me to a WhatsApp group where I would get suggestions about stocks which were doing good in the market. I also saw other members sharing their experience on the group. The organisers soon suggested that if we invested through an institutional trading platform we would benefit more.”

The fraudsters segregated the members of the group into smaller groups of six, labeling it as the ‘Unified Organisational Trading Plan.’ They instructed participants to utilize the online platform ‘Zoksa’ for investments.

“They suggested that we should sell off all our insurance policies and stocks that we were investing in and then invest through them…. At that time, my Zoksa account showed that my money was invested in US stocks and my investments had reached Rs 1 crore. So, I kept investing through the company,” Sarkar stated.

The situation took a turn for the worse when Sarkar attempted to withdraw his investment but was unsuccessful. After raising the issue with the group, he received only Rs 10,000 from the scammers, sparking suspicion. Subsequently, he was informed that he would need to pay Rs 13 lakh in taxes to withdraw his funds and obtain a tax certificate.

The unfortunate experience of Sarkar highlights the dangers posed by online investment scams, particularly to vulnerable individuals seeking financial stability amid challenging circumstances such as illness. His story underscores the importance of exercising caution and skepticism when engaging in online investment activities. 

Source: Zee News