Telegram is a popular platform for forex enthusiasts. Unfortunately, the messaging app is also a favorite place for scammers targetting newbie traders.
Undoubtedly, the forex market can be an incredible money-making source, producing conflicting and complicated information about the money-making process. This could result in confusion for some people, which causes them to find means anywhere unsuspectingly. Telegram scammers have then decided to take advantage of this.
How Do Telegram Forex Scams Work?
This is how the scam goes. An individual or group of people poses as an associate of a well-known forex trading expert or broker with the promise of helping people manage their money to generate incredible rates of return.
They make it sound so realistic and appealing that the people they approach start to calculate in their minds the amount of profit that can be made within a short period.
The potential victims are unaware or maybe choose to ignore the universal law that "it is impossible to get something for nothing". You cannot just "simply invest" your money without doing due diligence about where and who you are investing your money with.
Forex traders do not just start trading without equipping themselves with adequate knowledge and practice. Nonetheless, these fraudulent groups promise their victims they will do all the work for them.
They start by randomly contacting people on Telegram and then invite them to join a private secret chat of what initially appears to be a "well-known forex broker" or professional trader.
This is where they lure people into investing with the offer of excellent returns on investment. If their sales pitch works, the victims send them money through untraceable means like Bitcoin (BTC), which is non-refundable.
Once the money has been received, the victim has strung along for a few weeks with false reports of wins and losses.
There are three basic ways that these fraudulent groups use to keep people's money:
- They inform people of a trading error that caused all the money to be lost, and they may ask their victims to send more with the promise of winning back all the money with profit.
- They pay people a small profit to keep them happy for a short while (money most likely taken from other victims) and then keep stringing them along before finally cutting them off.
- They just stop answering once the victim has paid money into their account.
There is almost nothing that victims can do once they've fallen into the trap of Telegram forex scams. Unlike other messaging apps, the perpetrators can be traced; Telegram's security makes it near impossible.
The app does not censor any private chat, and since these groups are private, tracing them or their base of operations becomes extremely difficult and unlikely.
Why Scammers Use Telegrams
Telegram is a popular cross-platform messaging service used widely because it features stronger privacy and encryption. Most of the messages sent on this app contain client-to-server encryption.
The app also supports secret chat messaging, which features end-to-end encryption, indicating a significantly more robust security level. The messages sent and received via the secret chat can be configured to self-destruct.
Other than that, there are other reasons why telegrams is a popular choice for scammers.
- Anonymity: Telegram allows users to create accounts without providing personal information, making it easier for scammers to remain anonymous and avoid detection.
- Global Reach: Telegram has a large user base with a global reach, making it an ideal platform for scammers to target individuals from various countries.
- Ease of Sharing Files and Links: Telegram allows users to share files, links, and documents easily.
- Lack of Regulation: Telegram is a third-party messaging app and does not regulate or monitor the content shared by its users. This lack of oversight makes it easier for scammers to operate without being flagged or reported.
All the features of Telegram discussed above are nice, but those also opened the door for forex scams to be run on the app with little to no consequence since chats are highly secure. Scammers find telegram as a simple method rather than hacking.
That being said, it does not mean that all telegram channels are automatically scams. There are several examples of good telegram channels that can give good information.
Telegram Scam Cases
There are several scam cases that happen in the real world. These cases can be precautionary tales to remind traders to be more careful when they play on the platform.
1. Fake Broker
While OctaFX is a trusted brokerage, several Telegram channels are posing as them. These scammers use this broker's reputation to entice people to send money. Sometimes, they might even pose as an OctaFX representative.
While many of these cases target Nigerian traders, they might also target people worldwide. Especially those who aren't careful.
It is unclear how many people have fallen victim to this scheme. But, OctaFX has tried to end this by urging its clients to be aware of fraudsters. OctaFX also teaches traders how to recognize a scam before they fall victim.
2. Fake Investment Program
Telegram forex scams can also come in the form of fake investments. This type of scam targets unsuspecting Telegram users who hope to make money on the side.
For example, in March 2023, a woman from Sibu, Malaysia, lost around RM37,217 to a foreign exchange (forex) investment scam. The victim unknowingly clicked a Telegram link in an investment group she was in.
According to the police, after clicking the link, the victim 'accidentally' made seven transactions to 5 different banks. Then, the suspect asked the victim to transfer RM41,447 for her to get back her money, including a bonus of RM237,439. Of course, none of her money was returned.
As a potential trader or investor in the forex market, you need to be responsible for your investment and who you want to deal with by conducting the necessary research to know if the investment you are about to deal with is legit.
You can do this by looking for testimonies and referrals about the potential money manager that reaches out to you.
You need to know their results, the ease of working with them, and if previous investors could make any profit and withdrawals. Then you need to schedule a video call with the purported money manager since many scams hide behind faceless Telegram chats; the video call allows you to evaluate the credibility of who you are about to deal with.
Telegram is dangerous for forex traders and anyone interested in investment, particularly cryptocurrency enthusiasts who make easy targets. They are just as eager and clueless as forex rookies (if not more) when recognizing Telegram scams. However, that doesn't mean all Telegram channels that are related to trading are scams. In fact, legitimate forex brokers have been establishing their official channels in the messenger app. You can learn all about it in "Forex Brokers Telegram Channels: The Complete Guide".