Mumbai A Santacruz-based fashion designer filed a case with the cyber police after she was duped of ₹87 lakh in a cryptocurrency trading fraud.
According to the police, the fraudster befriended 48-year-old Mariam Khan on Instagram in February 2022. The person’s username was ‘Matt.at38’. Khan exchanged her mobile number and started chatting with him on WhatsApp.
Later, the fraudster introduced himself as the owner of a software development, IT training and software outsourcing company. He further told the complainant that he was in the business of digital currency trading and asked her if she was also interested in the same, to which Khan said that although she had a popular cryptocurrency trading application on her phone, she didn’t know how to use it.
The person then sent her a link and asked her to download an application – a fake copy of an established and known cryptocurrency exchange and derivative trading platform and told the woman that the application belonged to the popular platform, but had a different trading method.
Convinced, Khan downloaded the application, filled in the required information and made a payment of ₹22,397 in order to buy some “USDT coins’’ to start trading – as instructed by the fraudster. “The accused also made her download two other applications- Binance and OkeX- under the pretext that buying USDT coins and later transferring them to the first application would be easier through these two applications,” the police said.
“I initially deposited a small amount but the person induced me into investing a big amount. He told me that I will lose all my money and the account would be frozen if some big amount was not invested,” Khan stated in her complaint.
When she was asked to invest more money, she suspected foul play and expressed her desire to withdraw all her money. “The fraudster then asked her to deposit some fees in order to get her previously invested money back. In order to save her investment, she kept depositing the fees and various taxes, processing charges, service charges etc.,” a police officer said.
Eventually, when she tried to withdraw her money, she was informed that her account had been frozen. She then obtained an email ID of the company, whose fake app she had received from the fraudster, and sent them an email requesting them to unfreeze her account. She was shocked when the company informed her that she was using a fake application, but by then she had already lost ₹87 lakh.