Crypto Scamming in Gujarat on the Rise | Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara & Rajkot


Ahmedabad/Surat/Vadodara/Rajkot: A wave of crypto scams has been sweeping Gujarat, with many people falling victim to false promises of high returns on their investments. Pratik Jain, 29, a food outlet owner from Navrangpura, experienced this firsthand. “A woman with a fake profile approached me via Instagram asking if I wanted to make 40% or 60% profit on a bitcoin investment with only Rs 5,000. She then created an account for me on a fake phishing website and asked me to recharge it with a small sum through UPI payment. She then added me to a WhatsApp or Telegram group, claiming I was trading,” said Jain.
In the same vein, more than 300 individuals in Gujarat have complained to the cybercrime helpline number 1930 about such fraudulent deals in the past year. Gujarat is no stranger to crypto scams. One of the earliest cases was that of a Surat-based business entity called BitConnect, which went bust in early 2018 and allegedly caused investors to lose Rs 500 crore. The promoter subsequently disappeared.
Vishal Rabari, assistant commissioner of police (cybercrime) Rajkot, said, “Victims usually get calls from women with fake profiles on social media. They build a friendship and promise high returns if they invest in cryptocurrency. They then make the victims download mobile apps, which take control of the device and transfer the money.”
Hardik Makadia, ACP (cybercrime) in Vadodara city, reported three to four complaints a month. “Certain gangs take people’s money after luring them into investing in cryptocurrency. Others simply cheat them under the guise of investing in cryptocurrency,” he said.
In December 2020, the Vadodara cybercrime arrested four persons for duping a person out of Rs 1.41 lakh for bitcoins. In July 2021, a Vadodara-based businessman lost Rs 2 crore after a gang promised to help him start a bitcoin business and then vanished.
(With inputs from Ashish Chauhan and Paul John)

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