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SEBI warns of fake trading apps promising stock market entry

Ziraat Times News Network

Srinagar: Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), the capital markets regulator, on Monday cautioned investors against fraudulent trading platforms, claiming to facilitate stock market access to Indians through Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) route.
Cautioning investors, Sebi in a media statement has asked investors “to steer clear of any social media messages, WhatsApp groups, Telegram channels, or apps claiming to facilitate stock market access through FPIs or FIIs registered with Sebi. Such schemes are fraudulent and do not have Sebi’s endorsement”.
Sebi noted that fraudsters are enticing victims through online trading courses, seminars, and mentorship programs in the stock market, leveraging social media platforms such as WhatsApp or Telegram, as well as live broadcasts.
Posing as  employees or affiliates of Sebi-registered FPIs, they coax individuals into downloading applications that purportedly allow them to purchase shares, subscribe to IPOs, and enjoy “institutional account benefits”– all without the need for an official trading or demat account, Sebi said adding that these operations often use mobile numbers registered under false names to orchestrate their schemes.
The cautionary statement came after Sebi received a number of complaints regarding fraudulent trading platforms, which falsely claimed affiliation with FPIs and claimed to offer trading opportunities through FPI or institutional accounts with special privileges.

Under the rule, FPI investment route is unavailable to resident Indians, with limited exceptions as outlined in the Sebi’s FPI Regulations.
Further, there is no provision for an “Institutional Account” in trading, and direct access to the equities market requires investors to have a trading and demat account with a Sebi-registered broker and depository participant respectively.
The regulator clarified that it has not granted any relaxations to FPIs regarding securities market investments by Indian investors.

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