SEBI had received a complaint from an investor (hereinafter referred to as ' complainant') that some unknown persons claiming to be 'agents' and 'brokers' of Mutual Funds and insurance companies have been contacting the complainant saying that the deceased son of the complainant had invested in Mutual Funds and they are maturing in a short while.
In order to get the full amount, the complainant must issue a cheque in advance for a new mutual fund scheme or insurance policy failing which the complainant will lose a substantial portion of the maturity amount as broker commission. The 'agent' informed the complainant that the son had made investments in Mutual funds which are about to mature and on maturity the complainant will get only Rs. 5 lacs. However, the 'agent' further stated that if the complainant makes a further investment of Rs.2.5 lacs, the complainant will get maturity proceeds to the tune of Rs.12.5 lacs, added further.
Thereafter, the Investigations Department of SEBI conducted preliminary investigations where it was found that the phone numbers from which the 'agent' had called were in some others' name and the Company was also in a different name. Sensing a clear attempt to defraud, cheat and misappropriate as well as missell financial products, SEBI deputed an official to visit the 'complainant' at the time of the visit of the 'agent'.
The assistance of the Economic Offences Wing of the Delhi Police was also taken. On perusal of the forms and after preliminary enquiries, the suspicions were confirmed that indeed there was an organised attempt by several people to defraud and missell and accordingly an FIR to that effect is being lodged with Delhi Police. It is suspected that the number of victims of such fraudulent attempts could be much higher, which would be revealed in due course after further investigations by Delhi Police and SEBI.
SEBI cautions investors that investors should verify the credentials of people approaching them as agents / employees before making any investment through such agents / employees.