Using its newly-granted powers to access call data records and conduct surprise visits, capital markets watchdog Sebi has unearthed a large-scale SMS scam wherein fraudsters were luring gullible investors with promise of daily returns of up to R75,000 through SMSes.
As an interim measure, Sebi has restrained two individuals and four entities associated with them from direct or indirect dealings in securities markets till further direction, while they have also been asked to cease and desist from acting as investment advisors and portfolio managers.
Besides, they have also been asked to immediately withdraw and remove all their advertisements, representations, websites and other materials in relation to their advisory services.
Sebi swung into action last month after it noticed that certain entities were offering intra-day tips and stock advisory services through short-message services (SMSs) via mobile phones.
The messages being circulated by them included promises of R5,000-75,000 daily earnings in "equity and MCX market with our confirm intraday tips" and the investors were asked to call on given numbers for "sure shot call".
After noticing these messages, Sebi began its investigation.