T.N. Cyber Crime issues advisory on new investment scam 

Updated - February 17, 2024 12:01 am IST

Published - February 17, 2024 12:00 am IST

The Cyber Crime Wing of Tamil Nadu Police has issued an advisory on ‘Black Rock Capital Investment Scam’’.

The targets are people who are looking for options to invest their money, and the modus operandi is to create fake investment opportunities, such as fraudulent business ventures, real estate deals, or commodity trading schemes. They may use sophisticated marketing materials and persuasive tactics to convince victims to invest, but the promised returns are never realised, and investors may lose their entire investment.

Impersonating reputable organisations

Additional Director General of Police, Cyber Crime Wing, Sanjay Kumar said the fraudster contacts the victim through social media platforms, posing as representatives from well-known investment institutions like IIFL Securities and Blackrock Capital. By impersonating reputable organisations, they gain the victim’s trust and credibility. The victim is invited to join a social media group where investment advice and opportunities are shared. This creates a sense of community and legitimacy, further convincing the victim of the authenticity of the scheme.

Police said the victim is asked to create an institutional Demat account for trading. This gives the victim the impression that they are engaging in legitimate investment activities. Once the Demat account is set up, the fraudster persuades the victim to transfer large sums of money into multiple bank accounts under the pretext of investing in stocks. However, instead of using the funds for legitimate investments, the fraudster likely pockets the money for personal gain. To maintain control over the victim and continue the scam, the fraudster may resort to threats and coercion. This includes threatening to transfer money for stock purchases that the victim is not interested in or willing to buy, as well as offering loans to cover the supposed purchase of stocks.

“The victim eventually realises he/she is unable to withdraw the invested amount or sell the stocks as promised. They have little recourse for recovering their lost funds also,” said Mr. Kumar. Police also asked the public to thoroughly research the company or individual offering the investment and to check their credentials, background, and whether they are registered with relevant regulatory authorities before investing.

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