Cryptocurrency scams are witnessing a surge in India, with recent reports revealing that authorities in the state of Odisha have dismantled a group engaged in fraudulent cryptocurrency transactions. This incident comes amid increased efforts by the Indian government to enhance scrutiny within the sector.
Odisha Authorities Disband Crypto Scam Ring
As per reports from local media, Bolangir in Odisha, India witnessed a novel form of cryptocurrency scam. On Saturday, local police achieved a breakthrough by apprehending the primary suspect of a local gang, whose members were allegedly engaged in fraudulent cryptocurrency transactions.
The gang exploited fake cryptocurrency transactions and enticed individuals with promises of tours to Thailand and Dubai. Utilizing various websites and apps, the gang executed their scams.
By means of counterfeit cryptocurrencies, the group managed to amass over $1.5 million from diverse investors. To obfuscate their transactions, they established a multi-level marketing entity named “Pegmatite Sustainable Solutions Private Limited.”
In a previous incident in July 2022, the accused and his accomplices introduced a digital currency valued at $0.0012. Subsequently, they falsely claimed that its value had risen to $0.010 over time, deceiving people into investing.
The gang members misleadingly inflated the worth of their coins, encouraging unwary individuals to invest. Police have also seized pertinent documents and a high-end vehicle from the custody of the accused.
Surge in Cryptocurrency Scams Detected in India
Local media surveys indicate that Indian investors are falling victim to cryptocurrency scams, with the majority of these incidents taking place on the Telegram messaging app.
The vulnerability of the Indian audience to such scams is attributed to a combination of factors, including a lack of regulations, a significant presence of inexperienced new investors, and a general lack of awareness about digital media. Exploiting these conditions, online scammers find it easier to deceive the Indian populace, where trust seems to extend to virtually everything and everyone.
A recent case involved a Delhi-based Indian engineer who lost $15,000 on Telegram.
Indian authorities strengthen regulations to combat cryptocurrency scams.
The Indian government is implementing more stringent regulations to address the escalating prevalence of cryptocurrency scams within the country.
Earlier, the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) issued a show-cause notice to nine offshore cryptocurrency exchanges, asserting that they were “illegally operating” and had contravened India’s anti-money laundering laws.
Additionally, digital assets have been incorporated into the watch list, extending money laundering provisions to cover India’s cryptocurrency markets.