Bitcoin fraud: In online scam, woman loses whopping Rs. 26.88 lakh; know how to stay safe

Bitcoin fraud: Cryptocurrency market is at best a volatile arena and at worst, often, it a fraudsters’ paradise that stretches well beyond the segment itself and spans the wider web where fraudsters deploy ingenious methodologies to entrap and fleece users of their money via online scams. Having said that, Bitcoin itself has been doing rather well in recent months, having hit rock bottom and then climbing back up. Bloomberg reports that Bitcoin price rose 3% to break above $45,000 on January 2 and that was the for the first time since April 2022. Yes, the world’s biggest and best-known cryptocurrency started 2024 with a bang. Bitcoin rose to touch a 21-month high of $45,386 earlier in the day. Ether, the coin linked to the ethereum blockchain network, was 1% higher at $2,376. U-turns in fortune like these drive cybercriminals to lure people into their net and that is what has just happened to this woman.

It has been reported that a 33-year-old woman from Maharashtra’s Thane city allegedly lost Rs. 26.88 lakh to fraudsters online who lured her to invest in Bitcoin. This was revealed by the police after it registered an offence under the Information Technology Act at the Kapurbawdi police station, based on a complaint, an official said.

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How the Bitcoin fraud unfolded

The woman came across an advertisement on social media promising lucrative returns on investments in Bitcoin, the official said.

The woman called the phone number given in the advertisement and as instructed by the caller, paid Rs. 26.88 lakh in one year. She received updates about her account balance with a link supposedly enabling her to withdraw the expected returns, the official said.

The online scam revealed

The entire thing was revealed as a fraud when the woman attempted to withdraw the funds. She tried to get the process going as explained by the cybercriminals, but encountered difficulties and was unable to retrieve any money, he said.

The police added that an investigation had been initiated to nab the people responsible for this Bitcoin fraud.

How to stay safe from online scams

According to McAfee, people should stick to “legitimate app stores, use the tools that can quash spammy emails and texts, and go online confidently with online protection software.”

Over and above that, you must ensure that you do not believe everything you see on social media. In many instances, criminals ddeploy their plans to entrap readers vis ads, email, social media apps and various other ways. In case you see something like that, be wary. Either do not click on that link, nor should you call any such phone number. Always verify through multiple channels before moving ahead.

And if someone is promising to return profits that are too good to be true, just know that it is probably a fraudster.    

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(With PTI inputs)

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