Options Trading: SEBI unearths Options Scam

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NEW DELHI: A major investment scam has come under the scanner of markets watchdog SEBI where gullible investors were being lured through SMSes and WhatsApp messages with the promise of multi-fold returns from options’ trading, while betting on important policy decisions, including of RBI.

The modus operandi involved reaching out to potential investors through social media and SMSes in which fraudsters sought investments of Rs 5-10 lakh with promise that returns could be as high as Rs 75 lakh within a day or two.

The fraud came to light early this month when SMSes were being sent out that “a capital investment of Rs 5 lakh in bank index options ahead of the RBI’s monetary policy review” could earn a profit of as much as Rs 75 lakh just in a day.RBI held its last monetary policy review on June 2, where it lowered its policy rate for the third time this year. While a rate cut was widely expected, the markets had seen a huge volatility around the RBI review with punters making huge profits on each move in the stocks and indices.

According to a senior official, capital markets watchdog Sebi is keeping a hawk’s eye vigil on investment scams.The official said that Sebi, using the powers granted to it last year, is seeking details from the mobile operators about the users of such numbers. Besides, it is getting details from the banks about the account numbers in which such investors are asked to deposit the money, mostly through online transfers.

One big racket that has come under the scanner was luring the investors in the name of the expected rate cut decision of RBI, before the policy meet.The same people have been found to be involved in some other sets of SMSes wherein the inv-estors were being promised profits ranging from Rs 8 lakh to Rs 18 lakh within two days.

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