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India police department asks crypto users to be on high alert for crypto fraud

India Police Commissioner Shikha Goel has asked citizens to be cautious when handling their crypto assets

The legality of cryptocurrencies in India has been a grey matter, but that hasn’t stopped fraudsters from taking advantage of uninformed investors. Hyderabad City Police’s Additional Commissioner Shikha Goel recently sounded a warning against crypto fraud amidst the rising reported incidents. She also advised Indian citizens looking to invest in cryptocurrencies to do so only through trustworthy platforms.

“If you are going to be using or investing in cryptocurrency, please go only to the reputed and long-established players in this field,” she warned.

Greed and the desire to get rich overnight are drivers of crypto crime

Earlier this month, The Times of India reported that cases of crypto cheating had shot up from 2 last year to 54 between January and November this year. The news outlet detailed that the cyber police department had registered three cases against 11 people in the last two weeks of November.

The suspects leverage different schemes to steal from their victims. These include attractive crypto investment opportunities, phony exchange websites, and fake credentials, according to the Cyber Police deputy commissioner Bhagyashri Navatake. She noted that the lack of a legal framework regulating the use and adoption of cryptocurrencies in the country should be reason enough for people to stay away from crypto investments.

Navatake also stated that criminals were preying on the victim’s desire to make a quick killing through cryptocurrencies. Another senior police in the department held victims responsible for investing in cryptocurrencies knowing they are not regulated.

Speaking during an event held by the Hyderabad City Police, Goel addressed the subject of crypto crime which she noted was on the rise. Goel, just like Navatake, ascribed the increasing incidents of fraud to greed and lack of awareness among crypto users.

The decentralised nature of cryptocurrencies makes tracing them hard

The police commissioner noted that fraudsters beguile their victims to send the acquired crypto assets, promising huge profits.

“They [cyber criminals] ask you to share your cryptocurrency details. And once you put it in your wallet, then the money is taken away,” Goel observed.

She shared a tweet asking investors to cease transferring their assets into unverified wallets to avoid being duped. Goel further explained that it was hard to recover stolen assets because of their inherent nature, leading to dead ends.

Speaking in an interview with The Hindu, Goel stated that only 2 of reported crypto fraud incidents were outside the investment purview. The Additional Commissioner of Police (Crimes and SIT) further disclosed that victims have lost 3.45 crore Ruper (the equivalent of $460,000) to crypto fraudsters. Through her Twitter account, she urged citizens to report any cases involving cyber fraud so the authorities could act quickly.

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