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MC Investigation: Social media accounts impersonate celebrity traders and defraud investors of lakhs

Fake accounts and channels on various online platforms are selling investment advisory and portfolio managements services

October 12, 2022 / 08:27 AM IST
(Photo by Olya Kobruseva/Pexels)

(Photo by Olya Kobruseva/Pexels)

“You have changed my life. You don’t know what you have done.”

This wasn’t a declaration shouted out to a lover or a preacher, but to a celebrity trader at a recent conclave. It was made to the star when he took a breather from clicking selfies and shaking hands with adoring fans.

Celebrity traders may not form one half of a supercouple or have desserts named after them, but they have a serious fan following. Scamsters know this better than anyone else. Therefore, they are creating fraudulent accounts or catfishing accounts in these star traders’ names, to steal money and—more frighteningly—securities from demat accounts.

The effort that is going into creating these accounts, tracking the most vulnerable targets and mimicking the celebrity trader’s real account, is staggering. Scamsters seem to be constantly checking who is interacting the most with the traders by reading through comments on genuine social media accounts, and buying subscribers and views on platforms like Telegram to make the catfish accounts look like the real thing, and even placing messages warning subscribers about fraud!