In the world of Web3 and cryptocurrencies, people are getting addicted to making quick money, and options trading is known to be a great way to get started.
However, just like any other internet buzz, this field is also filled with numerous scams.
Let us understand precisely who these scammers are and how you can protect yourself from them.
How Users Are Being Scammed Online
With the surge in capital market participation by Indians and the global audience, it is prominent that con artists have taken over this field.
Every other person is eager to make quick returns and with fake screenshots and unrealistic profits, it is almost impossible for the newbies to avoid these scammers.
There is a common set of patterns that these scammers follow to lure the public. Let’s have a look at it.
1. Invites & Personalized Direct Messages
The first step is the onboarding of the users by the scammers. A user is sent a text with attractive and luring commitments, just like the above screenshot.
This creates a FOMO in the user that he is missing out on tons of profits. The user then instantly clicks on the link and in no time he is a member of their free telegram channel.
Now, if you notice closely, you will realize that these channels feel like your family–they are ready to give everything to you. The world seems like a good place, and money-making is a life hack.
2. The Million Dollar Call Is Only A Step Away
Till the time the user is getting familiar with their setup, a new message pops up saying that the next big signal is coming in moments, and to receive it, you have to be a premium member.
While you read my article, you would feel that it is so obvious that it is a scam but when someone is going through it in real-time, it is almost a no-brainer to take up this membership because of the desperation.
Well, these channels know what they are doing and till the time a member realizes what he has brought himself in, it is always too late.
3. Taking The Premium Membership
Netflix and YouTube’s membership takes more time than these trading memberships and it is not even a joke. Did you realize how quickly a user lands on their landing page for making the payment?
As ironic as it sounds, they offer huge discounts on the yearly plans and the user is ready to risk it all just to get in because of the FOMO created by these channels from the very beginning.
Different Scams On Instagram & Twitter
Enough of the case studies. Let’s get to the ground level and talk directly about some of these channels that are literally scamming thousands without even a single backlash.
One of the most common ways of scamming users is through online courses and workshops by marketers. Everyone knows that Stock Market is subject to market risk and these people leverage this to fill their banks.
Imagine you took an expensive stock market course and even after learning everything carefully, you blew off your account. Now, would you dare to go to the mentors and ask for a refund?
No. This is because no one knows where the market will be heading next and on top of that, they just taught you about the market. So, technically, you can’t even touch them.
Let’s have a look at some of the most popular and fishy courses available on the internet in India.
1. Booming Bulls
If you are into the stock markets, there is a high probability that you must be familiar with this name. Booming Bulls is a stock market channel presented by Anish Singh Thakur.
Now, I can’t call this a scam, as it does provide some helpful tips and lessons to its viewers for free on YouTube. However, things seem messy when it comes to their paid courses.
With tons of videos showing lakhs of profits on their channel, many people say that it is just a marketing gimmick and they are just showing the goods and hiding all the bad. There have also been many allegations that the live videos showing the booked profits are in fact recorded and it is just to attract the public.
The course price for Booming Bulls is more than Rs.20,000 and honestly, I did not think it was even worth half of it. Why do I say this?
Well, I myself am a stock market investor and trader and just like everyone even I was a huge fan of this channel. I took a workshop and met many people who had enrolled in this premium course. The highlight of this course as portrayed by the channel that Mr. Anish would himself resolve your doubts and queries do not seem to be true.
The videos are quite basic and beginner level and are available for free on YouTube. Even the technical analysis seems very basic and the win rate is not at all good to be trusted.
2. P R Sundar
A big name in the stock market trading industry, P R Sundar rose to fame with his market analysis videos that are aired on Sun TV. With the rapid boost of YouTube in the country, he also started his YouTube channel and started giving his takes on the market.
Although his market knowledge and experience seem to be good, he is also a brilliant marketer. Why do I say this?
Well, because he has a two-day workshop that costs more than Rs.50,000. Can you believe that?
In this workshop, PR Sunder’s team promises to give you some strategies that can instantly grow your portfolio. On one hand, where PR sunder quotes that trading is a game of probability, he assures to give some strategies that can gain constant returns to their students.
Now, the question is what exactly he teaches in his workshops is so valuable. Honestly, there is no rocket science that he is decoding. With some indicators (available for free on the internet), basic price action, and base-level money management techniques, his course does not live up to the hype and the price.
Now, I know that people can defend this review by saying that the stock market is as tough as you make it, and if they are making money and want to teach their audience about it then what’s the harm in it?
Well, the stock market is not a get-rich-quick scheme and it requires patience and experience. No one can make constant returns in the market without acquiring these skills, and these channels commit the same thing.
Selling Mentorship Based On Unrealistic Screenshots
This is again a common technique of many influencers who portray themselves as an F&O trader. Technology has risen massively in the world and to fake an image or change their credentials isn’t a big task these days.
Many claims that their huge capital leads to good profits and there is nothing wrong with it. Let’s consider the example of Sachin Tendulkar. He was a great batsman and many wanted to become like him.
Now, if he started giving coaching lessons claiming that he will make you an international batsman in a week or a month or even a year, would you believe it?
Well, definitely not. Then how can you expect to mint profit in option selling or buying with just mentorship and no experience or skills?
Still, many fall for this trap and pay handsome money just to get mentorship. Things seem fishy when their mentor is giving all the right signals, alerts, information, and everything else, and still, the users continue to lose.
Instagram accounts are targeted by phishers when they offer users strange links in direct messages or emails, expecting them to enter with their usernames and passwords. Criminals who get access to a user’s login credentials may steal their data very easily.
Users should never respond to these types of message demands, and should always discard them without reading or acting upon them.
As the number of social media stars continues to grow, scammers are beginning to take leverage of this trend by pretending to be legitimate sponsors. As a result, Influencer marketing is a popular target for fraudsters who pose as well-known companies offering lucrative sponsorship deals.
If the blogger is unfortunate enough to think the offer is genuine, they may provide their account data or information to the product in an attempt to be “compensated.”
Options Trading Signals & Calls
If courses and phishing techniques were not enough, there are many who scam users by giving them calls and signals.
Everyone wants to get rich quickly and they want to do so with the least effort, and getting sure short signals and calls is the best way to do it.
This is where these scammers show fake screenshots and P&Ls to their audience. As we said earlier, there is a fixed pattern that is being followed to lure the users.
First, comes the whooping profits shown in the screenshots, which are mostly fake. Next, you will be shown how their members are literally minting money through their signals and you stand nowhere.
Finally, you are taken to a payment gateway where in no time you take up the membership only to realize that the calls are not at all good and even wipe out your portfolio.
How to Spot and Avoid These Instagram Frauds:
Now we know the different kinds of scams that are going on in the world. However, it is equally important to know how you can be a smart person and avoid these scams.
1. Adding Only Known One’s
It is very important that you stay away from the strangers present on Social Media. You should always add only those users that you are familiar with. This simple practice can help you a lot in staying away from these scammers.
2. It’s Important To Keep An Eye Out for Potential Threats
Avoid communicating with or responding to any account or text that raises suspicions. No matter how professional the scammer has tried being with his account, you will easily find it out by checking their connections and whether they know you or not.
3. Consider Making Your Profile Private
People who follow you will be able to see your photographs and videos. Users should periodically check their records & remove any accounts they don’t recognize or no longer wish to follow.
As Instagram scamming is on the rise, brace yourself for the inevitable. Here are some proven methods for spotting and avoiding Instagram scammers.
4. Look Out For Messages That Beg You To “Donate” Anything
Fraud frequently involves bank balances, the sale of goods, or the request for personal information of some kind. Logging into a profile and being prompted to pay for anything might be an example of this. Any direct chats or emails that you feel odd should be taken with a grain of salt.
5. Activating Two-Factor Verification
Once your passcode is used, you may use it as the main intersection to log into your account. Confirm your identity by signing in with another login device that you possess at that moment.
Two-factor authentication (2FA) may be implemented using various methods, including text, email alerts, in-app prompts, and biometrics.
6. Don’t Click on A Login Link In an Email:
It’s best to utilize a reputable URL and sign in to your accounts whenever possible. Instagram’s phishing email scam is a particular concern. Because of the urgency in their emails, scammers are counting on you to click and log in without thinking.
Keep an eye out for the correct URL at all times. A genuine login will reveal whether there is a severe issue or not. If you want to double-check, you may contact client service by email, chat, or cellphone.
7. Don’t Fall For The Bait
When you’re thrilled, it’s easy to let your judgment be clouded by giveaways, employment, and other frauds. You may safely presume they aren’t real, and brands may be reached directly via official methods if you are uncertain.
Look for their genuine webpage on the internet and get in touch with them to find more information. Before replying to any communications, make sure you’ve looked up the proper channels. Looking for verified profiles might help you find actual companies and individuals.
There will be direct access to all official social media accounts from the company’s website for big businesses. There may not be an authorized Instagram account for the brand without an Instagram connection on their webpage.
I must also say that not all of these channels are fake and full of scams. There are many professionals who do provide quality content and learnings through their platforms, such as CA Rachana Phadke Ranade and Power of Stocks .
If you wish to learn and grow your skills as a stock market trader or investor, these channels can act as a catalyst.
However, you should stay away from buying any premium courses or calls until you have completely understood the markets and their movements.
Again, we are not alleging anything. We are not calling any specific entity a scammer. We are simply calling a spade a spade.