Introduction: We have heard about many cyber scams, like the Meesho scam and the electricity scam, the latest in this series is the “Gold Trading Scam”. Gold is one of the most precious metals in the world, with a long history of being used as a form of currency and an investment asset. In recent years, gold trading scams have been increasing, and people are falling into the trap of cyber crooks, as they will lure you to invest in the precious commodity. In this blog post, we will discuss the danger of gold trading scams and provide tips on protecting yourself and your finances.
What is a gold trading scam?
Unlike previous frauds, the “gold trading” scam involves several nationwide shell companies. The cooks of the” gold trading scam” have their handlers sitting in Hong Kong and are operating the scam. The scammers have managed to dupe innocent people and earned in crores. The online gold trading scam involves shell companies, fake websites, professionals like chartered accounts, companies’ secretaries, hawala traders, and foreign nationals. The matter is under investigation by STF.
The Modus Operandi: The “Gold trading scam” is a new method fraudsters use WhatsApp, Telegram and other social media platforms to lure people into investing in online gold and other commodities. The fraudsters promise hefty returns on every investment made by the users, they offer online classes on how to trade in gold. Initially, the joineries had to make an investment of 10,000 rupees. Later, when a handsome amount is received, the fraudsters dump the customer and shut down the company. The STF has conducted the operation in various states.
Red flags one needs to look out for: here are some red flags to watch out for when considering an investment in the gold scam.
- High Returns: – if the investors promise high returns quickly, it’s likely a scam.
- Lack of regulations: if any company or individual offers a gold trading scheme that is not registered with any appropriate regulatory body, it’s likely a scam.
- Unsolicited Contact: Be Cautious of unsolicited emails, phone calls, or text messages promoting gold schemes.
- Invest Quickly: scammers will often pressure customers to invest quickly without fully researching the investment opportunity.
How to Avoid Gold Trading Scams: one can avoid falling victim to a gold trading scam; here are pointers one can consider:
- Do your Research: Take time to research before you invest in any gold trading scheme, look for feedback and reviews from other investors, and check if they are legal or not.
- Don’t be in a rush: even if the offer is too tempting and scammers are putting too much pressure to invest then and there. Take your time, think and then invest.
- Invest only if you can afford: Never invest in any scheme if you can’t afford it. Always remember that investments come with risks, and you should only invest what you want to lose.
STF’s Message to the Public: STF, or Special Task Force, has been undercover in such cases for a decade. The STF has issued some guidelines for the public to be cautious and vigilant when considering any investment schemes. It is important to understand no investment is risk-free, and high returns are often associated with high risk, and that too can’t be received in a short span, further, the officials have requested that if you are a victim of a gold trading scam report it immediately to the relevant authorities as soon as possible.
Conclusion: Finally, gold trading scams have grown in popularity in recent years, relying on people’s desire to invest in this expensive asset. Scammers utilise various techniques to entice naïve investors into their fraudulent schemes, including promising great returns on investment and using high-pressure sales methods to persuade investors to spend more money or attract new investors to join the scam. However, there are warning signs that investors should be aware of to avoid becoming victims of these scams, such as huge returns on investment in a short amount of time, a lack of regulation, unsolicited communication, and pressure to invest immediately. When contemplating investing in gold trading schemes, it is critical to be cautious and alert, conduct complete research before investing, and only invest money you can afford to lose. If you believe you have been a victim of a gold trading scam, contact the appropriate regulatory agency right once. Investors may protect themselves and their assets by following these suggestions and being aware of the hazards of gold trading scams.
Author : Ms. Tanushree Saxena, Trainer, CyberPeace