Hyderabad police warned the public not to fall for such scams, citing a substantial increase in cybercrimes linked to fraudulent stock market trading applications and misleading trading tips that have resulted in large financial losses. Fraudsters use a variety of social media channels, including Facebook, Instagram, whatsapp, and Telegram, to reach out to potential victims and provide free stock market guidance and ideas. They present fictitious screenshots of earnings allegedly made by other clients in an attempt to win over their targets.

The scammers first deposit money into the victim's bank account before enticing them to sign up for VIP or premium groups that offer more lucrative stock market advice. Unknowingly, victims become targets of this scam. The victims are unable to withdraw the money, even if the website dashboard shows phony gains. After that, scammers want more money to unlock the account, claiming a variety of taxes and penalties. Regrettably, a lot of professionals have fallen for these frauds, including advocates and chartered accountants.

For example, an advocate lost a lot of money after they spent a large amount of Rs 85 lakhs on a phony trading website after seeing an advertisement on Facebook. In a similar vein, an IT worker lost Rs. 55 lakhs after scammers joined him to a whatsapp group. An experienced chartered accountant was one of the victims who fell for the same scam and invested Rs. 91 lakhs on a phony trading platform.

The Joint Commissioner of police, Crimes and SIT, A v Ranganath, issued a warning to the public about these types of scams and outlined preventative measures. These included trading solely through applications registered with SEBI, avoiding transferring funds to personal bank accounts, confirming the legitimacy of apps downloaded from the google Play store or official websites, not disclosing Demat account details to strangers, and exercising caution when engaging in questionable conversations in unfamiliar groups before making financial investments.

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