Cybersecurity researchers have revealed the alarming rise of investment scams in India peddled through social media messaging platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Telegram, X, and others, in which fraudsters convince users to invest in crypto, stocks by promising assured returns, a new report showed on Tuesday. 

Since the beginning of 2024, the threat intelligence firm CloudSEK has identified a massive volume of malicious content on social media and messaging platforms.

The findings revealed over 29,000 malicious investment advertisements on Facebook along with a staggering 81,000 fake investment WhatsApp groups.

Additionally, the report highlighted the troubling tactic of impersonation, with 81,000 X accounts masquerading as known financial institutions to lend legitimacy to these scams.

"Scammers reach out to potential victims through various social media platforms, using compromised data to send direct messages. Once inside these groups, victims are manipulated into believing they are dealing with legitimate investment companies," the researchers explained.

"Scammers provide fake proof of earnings to deceive victims into investing. Promising high returns, they show fake profits to encourage further investments, then ultimately scam the victims and remove them from the WhatsApp group," they added.

According to the report, India, Malaysia, the US, Thailand, and Vietnam are the primary targets of these investment scams.

More than 1 lakh were reported investment scam cases in 2023 in India. In the first four months of 2024, Rs 1.2 billion in 4,599 cases were lost in digital fraud.

About 62,687 complaints of investment scams were registered in the first four months of this year and the losses from these scams were Rs 2.22 billion, the report said.

(Except for the headline, this story, from a syndicated feed, has not been edited by Odishatv.in staff)

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