Fraudsters using FB, WhatsApp to dupe users in investment scams in India: Report

Cybersecurity firm uncovers massive fraud on Facebook and WhatsApp in India
Fraudsters using FB, WhatsApp to dupe users in investment scams in India: Report
Fraudsters using FB, WhatsApp to dupe users in investment scams in India: Report

Cybersecurity researchers have uncovered a significant surge in investment frauds across India via popular social media messaging platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, Telegram, and others. According to a recent report, scammers lure users into investing in cryptocurrencies and stocks with promises of guaranteed returns.

Since the start of 2024, CloudSEK, a threat intelligence firm, has identified a substantial volume of malicious content on these platforms. The report indicates that Facebook hosted over 29,000 deceptive investment advertisements, while WhatsApp harbored a staggering 81,000 fake investment groups.

Moreover, the report highlights another troubling trend: 81,000 accounts on X impersonating reputable financial institutions to add credibility to these schemes.

Researchers explain that scammers initiate contact through compromised data, sending direct messages to potential victims across various social media platforms. Once users join these groups, they are manipulated into believing they are dealing with legitimate investment firms.

The scammers employ fake proof of earnings to deceive victims into investing further, showcasing fabricated profits to encourage additional investments before ultimately scamming victims and removing them from the groups.

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According to the report, India, along with Malaysia, the US, Thailand, and Vietnam, are the primary targets of these fraudulent schemes.

In 2023, India reported over 100,000 cases of investment scams. By the first four months of 2024 alone, digital fraud caused losses amounting to Rs 1.2 billion across 4,599 cases. The report further notes that 62,687 complaints related to investment scams were registered in the same period this year, resulting in losses of Rs 2.22 billion.

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