Bengaluru: A fake website, a dubious WhatsApp group, and a bogus stock investment app — all of these played a part in a city doctor losing Rs 90 lakh in an online fraud.
Dr Paramesh (name changed), venturing into stock investment education classes during his free time, registered his phone number on a website.He received a WhatsApp message with a link to a group that had around 150 members.
People who managed the group explained the scheme to him and wanted him to pay 20 per cent of his stock earnings in return for their classes. Theyshared stock tips within the group.
Dr Paramesh followed their tips to gain success in 24 out of 26 times. About a month later, the scammers introduced him to an iOS app called ‘Storak’, claiming it provided access to premium stocks.
He invested Rs 90 lakh, in separate instalments. However, as suspicions grew, Dr Paramesh demanded the scammers return his profits and principal amount.
In response, they demanded an additional Rs 8 lakh as a fee. When Dr Paramesh suggested deducting the fee from his profits and returning the remaining amount, they purportedly blocked his money within the app and coerced him into paying the extra fee.
Dr Paramesh reported the scam to the High Grounds Police, who filed an FIR against the fraudsters under the IT Act and the Indian Penal Code’s fraud and dishonesty sections.
The doctor told DH that the fraudsters, who introduced themselves as Karthikeyan and Aina Bagchi, added him to a WhatsApp group with fake participants.
When he made profits and followed their thrice-weekly online classes on stock market, it all appeared real. But they removed some participants and added them to a different group, saying the previous group had imposters.
The tips shared in the new group were different from the old one, which was when he grew suspicious.
An investigating officer said that facts have been gathered and police have launched an investigation. “It appears that the scamsters are from outside the country,” the official said.
(Published 29 October 2023, 21:40 IST)