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The rise of crypto fraud in India

TL;DR

  • Crypto fraud in India has significantly increased, with a notable scam involving a Gurugram consultancy executive losing over $45,000.
  • Scammers are exploiting relationships formed on matrimonial websites to lure victims into fraudulent cryptocurrency investments, particularly in a fake currency called Deuncoin.
  • Victims are coerced into making further payments under the pretense of unfreezing their trading accounts, falsely accused of money laundering.

Crypto fraud in India has seen a dramatic increase, spotlighting the urgent need for robust cybersecurity measures. This growing concern was further highlighted recently when a consultancy executive from the Indian city of Gurugram was deceived out of over $45,000 through a crypto scam. Such incidents have sparked a nationwide discussion on the efficacy of existing protections for internet users, which appear to be insufficient against the cunning of modern-day scammers.

The executive was lured into this trap by someone he met on a matrimonial site, who pretended to befriend him before introducing him to a dubious cryptocurrency investment in Deuncoin. The scam unfolded as the executive was persuaded to invest in cryptocurrencies and was directed to set up an account on the m.deuncoin.vip website. Subsequently, he received ominous messages from someone claiming to be from Deuncoin’s customer support via WhatsApp, accusing him of money laundering and threatening severe financial penalties unless he matched the amount supposedly involved in laundering within 24 hours to unfreeze his trading account.

India and the Surge in Digital Deceit

India’s battle against crypto fraud is intensifying, with the country grappling with an increasing number of cybercrimes. Notably, the state of Odisha witnessed two significant crypto scams in just one month, while the national capital was not spared either, with an engineer falling prey to a similar scheme. These incidents have highlighted the vulnerability of Indian investors, particularly novices who are easily duped, largely due to the lack of regulation, insufficient experience, and a general unawareness of digital media.

In response to this alarming trend, the Indian government has stepped up its efforts to enforce stricter regulations aimed at curbing the rampant cryptocurrency frauds. The cybercrime police have reported a noticeable rise in the number of people falling victim to such scams, including those impersonating government officials. To counteract this, the government has increased its surveillance of illegal crypto trading activities and issued show cause notices to nine offshore bitcoin exchanges for violating India’s anti-money laundering regulations and operating without authorization.

A New Dimension of Cyber Threats

The rise of crypto fraud in India has also been marked by the advent of novel phishing scams, as highlighted by blockchain analysts from Cyvers. They have identified a new form of scam targeting Ethereum (ETH) users, where scammers send actual ETH to potential victims. This tactic, known as address poisoning, is designed to trick users into sending funds to a scammer’s address by making them inadvertently copy it. The scam is sophisticated, employing not only real ETH but also fake Tether (USDT) transactions to ensnare victims further.

This new strategy represents a significant evolution in the traditional address poisoning method, with a widespread impact across hundreds of addresses, indicating a large-scale attempt to defraud users within the cryptocurrency ecosystem. The severity of this issue was underscored by a report of a victim who lost $47,600 to this scam. Address poisoning, once a novel threat, has now emerged as a significant risk within the crypto space, evolving continually to exploit unsuspecting individuals.

Disclaimer: The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decision.

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Jai Hamid

Jai Hamid is a passionate writer with a keen interest in blockchain technology, the global economy, and literature. She dedicates most of her time to exploring the transformative potential of crypto and the dynamics of worldwide economic trends.

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