Shikha Goel, Hyderabad's Additional Commissioner of Police (Crimes and SIT), has warned crypto investors in India to strongly refrain from transferring assets into unknown, unauthorised wallets. Goel was speaking at an awareness event hosted by Hyderabad Police when she revealed that cybercrimes are on a rise in India, where over 740 million people use the Internet, as per research firm Statista. Incidentally, India also houses a large chunk of around 100 million global crypto investors, as per research reports.
During her address, Goel acknowledged that the crypto space has witnessed growth and expansion in India, attracting cybercriminals to target people associated with the industry.
“They [scammers] ask you to share your cryptocurrency details. And once you put it in your wallet, then the money is taken away. If you are going to be using or investing in cryptocurrency, please go only to the reputed and long-established players in this field,” Goel said.
On her Twitter handle as well, Goel posted a video of her talking about crypto scammers targeting Indian investors.
Earlier this month, reports of Chinese and Nigerian investors scamming Indian crypto investors had emerged online.
Goel reportedly said that recently there have been 16 crypto fraud cases where victims have collectively lost close to Rs. 3.45 crore.
“People have been cheated crore in their greed for higher returns against investment in cryptocurrency,” Goel said.
The officer has further highlighted that virtual money can never be traced back to its original owner, once lost.
Earlier in December, the Telangana government have inked deals with crypto exchange CoinSwitch Kuber and innovation management firm Lomos Labs to bring to life a Blockchain Accelerator programme. Entrepreneurs wanting to enter the blockchain space would be able to use the initiative to explore opportunities, mentorship, tech support, and funding scopes for their projects.
India is mulling over what regulations to impose on the crypto space.
The government has expressed concerns that cryptocurrencies may be used for luring investors with misleading claims and for funding tasks such as terror activities as well as money laundering.
Twitter scams are also on the rise in the US. In a recently released PSA, the FBI said that scammers have been making innocent people use physical cryptocurrency ATMs and digital QR Codes to complete malicious transactions.
Total crypto crimes in 2020 amounted to around $10.52 billion (roughly Rs. 79,194 crore), a report had revealed earlier in April.
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