Three city residents lose Rs. 40.42 lakh to cyber fraud
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Three city residents lose Rs. 40.42 lakh to cyber fraud

June 9, 2024

Mysore/Mysuru: In three separate incidents of fraud, two city residents have been deceived into losing Rs. 40,42,779. The victims were duped through sophisticated schemes involving fake officials and fraudulent investment opportunities. Despite awareness by the Police, educated residents fall prey to these scams.

In the first case, L.G. Sowmya, an engineer and a resident of Siddarthanagar, fell victim to cyber criminals, losing Rs. 22,58,779. According to her Police complaint filed on June 8, on May 4, 2024, she encountered an advertisement about stock markets on Instagram, which directed her to a WhatsApp group named ‘HDFC Securities 23’.

In the WhatsApp group, Sowmya received information about stock trading, investment, and selling. Initially, she saw screenshots of money invested and was asked to check her investments on the ‘Grow’ app for authenticity.

Tempted by promise of high returns, Sowmya invested Rs. 20,000 and received a profit of Rs. 1,490. Encouraged by this, she invested Rs. 80,000 and earned a profit of Rs. 20,288, which she could withdraw.

Gaining trust in the scheme, the engineer invested Rs. 19,50,000, hoping for substantial returns. However, when she attempted to withdraw the displayed profits, she was unsuccessful.

She contacted the ‘customer support’ team and was informed she needed to pay Rs. 2,  04,802 as a commission for trading Rs. 19,50,000, in addition to 10 percent of the profits accrued as Income Tax. Believing the fraudsters, Sowmya paid Rs. 2,04,802 and an additional Rs. 88,222 as directed by the fake support team. In total, she lost Rs. 22,58,779.

Fake Mumbai Crime Branch

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In the second case, Samson Rakesh Joseph, a resident of Vishweshwaranagar fell victim to a scam perpetrated by individuals posing as members of the Mumbai Crime Branch.

 The accused, who claimed to be representing FedEx Transport, informed Joseph that 650 grams of MDMA (Methylenedioxymethamphetamine, commonly known as ecstasy) had been transported from Mumbai to Iran using his name. They asked him to present himself on the Skype platform for ‘investigation’ and asked him to download the app.

The fraudsters contacted Joseph via the application, masquerading as officials from Mumbai Crime Branch investigating a case of money laundering. They convinced Joseph that his bank account had been compromised and required verification.

Trusting their deceitful claims, Joseph provided sensitive information about his bank. The fraudsters then opened the loan claim page in the ICICI Bank app to fraudulently transfer Rs. 7,00,561. Joseph, who was threatened with dire consequences, gave his digital consent to transfer the money so that the purported investigation could come to an end. 

Fraudulent stock trading

In the third incident, Mohammed Shibli Roshan, a resident of Ramakrishnanagar, lost Rs. 10,84,460 after being lured by a fraudulent stock trader. The scammer advised Roshan to invest in a website named Ventura Securities, promising significantly high returns.

Following the advice of the supposed stock trader, Roshan invested the money, only to realise later that he had been cheated. Money was systematically transferred from the three bank accounts of the victim.

These incidents highlight a growing concern about the prevalence of financial fraud in Mysuru. The Police are urging residents to exercise caution and verify the identities of individuals or entities before divulging personal information or making financial transactions.

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The Police have reiterated the importance of exercising caution towards unsolicited communication, especially those requesting sensitive information or financial details.

 Three cases have been registered at the Cyber Economic and Narcotics (CEN) Crime Police Station and sleuths are currently investigating the case to identify the fraudsters and retrieve the lost funds.

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