A businessman from India’s capital city fell victim to a rather novel fraud – buying absolutely nothing in exchange for paying the pioneer cryptocurrency’s global prices to a purported cryptocurrency exchange representative.
During a bank visit last year, the Indian businessman was approached by the fraudster, who claimed to be working for one of the “largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world.” The businessman was later sold a bitcoin for Rs. 5.4 lakh ($8,000), after much persuasion from the fraudster’s side. As stated, he received a text message after his purchase, claiming that the transaction was successful and that he was now the proud owner of 1 Bitcoin.
A month later, the businessman sold his digital asset for Rs. 6 lakh ($8,894), generating a profit enough for him to trust the transaction, the salesman, and the currency itself. The business was under the impression of having generated a good profit within a short period of time and gave in to the fraudster’s augmented offer – buy and hold a bitcoin for three months in return of a 50% profit.
Where’s the catch? He was convinced of the legitimacy of the trade, but the bitcoins didn’t really exist – and the businessman did not buy them in reality. Instead, he was simply made to believe that he did possess a complex set of cryptographic codes which the world was going gaga over; when in reality all he bought was a confirmatory text message – nothing.
Later on, the fraudster told the business to purchase 10 bitcoins, worth Rs. 91 lakh ($134,954) in return for a guaranteed profit within 20 days. Trusting the legitimacy of the transaction, the business proceeded to borrow money from his friends and family and going ahead with the mammoth transactions. The fraudster fled with no whereabouts, leaving the businessman in complete distress.
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