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Crypto-trader defrauded of Rs 10 lakh worth of Bitcoin: Report

cyber crime, phishing

A Bengaluru-based crypto-currency trader was defrauded of Rs 10 lakh worth of Bitcoin, after an individual approached the trader offering to handle his account and provide high returns, MoneyControl reported. The trader has reported the incident to the Central CEN Police, the report said.

The incident dates back to February 22, when the trader opened an account with CoinSwitch Kuber, a crypto-trading platform. When the trader tried to loan funds into the trading account an issue occurred, which prompted them to lodge a complaint on a Telegram group related to crypto-currency trading. The fraudster used this opportunity to contact the trader. They told the trader that they would handle the account and offer high returns.

The complainant then shared their login credentials for CoinSwitch Kuber, including the One Time Password (OTP). Using this information, the fraudster then transferred Rs 10 lakh worth of Bitcoins to their personal account. The complainant said that many users on the platform faced similar issues, the report said.

CoinSwitch was founded in 2017 as a crypto-currency wallet and aggregator of crypto-exchanges across the world. In June 2020, it launched its trading platform Kuber.

In a statement to MediaNama, the company said that cooperating with the investigating authorities and that it has advised all its users to be extremely careful in handling their OTPs and account details.

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“CoinSwitch Kuber credentials are as sacrosanct as one’s bank credentials, and hence, they must not be shared with any third party. Users must also note that CoinSwitch Kuber and its representatives will never request for their login credentials. In case of any doubts or queries, users should first email us on csksupport@coinswitch.co. These details are also available under the ‘Help & Support’ section on the CoinSwitch Kuber app,” the company said.

The trader, however, has limited legal recourse. In the case of payment frauds, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) created a limited liability framework that gives customers the power to recover their funds in case of a fraud. But since crypto-currency trading is not regulated, the police have had to file a case under the Information Technology Act, 2000 and certain sections of the Indian Penal Code.

MediaNama has prepared a guide on crypto-currency regulations in India, listing the government’s position over the last few years and various policy recommendations; read it here: A complete low-down on crypto-currency regulation in India

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