In the past few years, investment or security frauds have witnessed a significant jump. Here’s the lowdown on a few of the ways in which fraudsters could scam you through investment fraud and ways to tackle them.
Spoofed or fake websites: A trend that is growing significantly is scammers creating dummy or spoofed websites that look like those of registered investment firms. One key indicator of a fake site is a misspelt uniform resource locator (URL). Look for the padlock on a website on the upper left of the address bar. The lock means that a site is secured by a transport layer security/ secure sockets layer (TLS/SSL) certificate that encrypts user data. Apart from this, look for other indicators such as the address of the investment firm or general grammar usage in the information provided on the website.
Fake profiles on social media: A scamster may set up profiles impersonating registered investment professionals on various popular social medial platforms.
A verified account will have a coloured icon (blue or green) at the end of the profile handle. Also, ‘Verified account’ will be written on them.
In addition, check for account activity. Look for signs of how a profile engages with followers. Remain wary of profiles that post spam or only showcase deals, which seem too good to be actually true.
Cold calling: Scammers are known to engage a team for cold calling investors to solicit their money while impersonating genuine employees of a registered firm. Perhaps, they may try to hide the fact they’re cold calling by referring to a brochure or an e-mail they have sent you. Also, they may pressurise you to invest in a time-limited offer, offer you a bonus or discount if you invest before a set date, or say that the opportunity is only available for a short period. The only solution is to hang on to such investment calls. Also, alert your family and friends to these investment frauds. Finally, report such calls to 1930, the National Cyber Crime Helpline number.
Rajiv is an independent editorial consultant for the last decade. Prior to this, he worked as a full-time journalist associated with various prominent print media houses. In his spare time, he loves to paint on canvas.