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Juicy Scams

The Infamous Scams of India's Biggest Scamsters

Created on 04 Sep 2023

Wraps up in 5 Min

Read by 8.6k people

Updated on 17 Oct 2023

India is known for its spices, spirituality, and, yes, some truly mind-boggling scams! There is a section of our lengthy history that is entirely about people who are pros at making money disappear quicker than a magician can say, "Abracadabra!

In the past, scams were a simple method to generate money, but stricter regulations have definitely reduced their frequency. It's crucial to recognise that despite the strict regulations, frauds continue to occur today. It's no secret that a name or two can pop into your head right away when you hear about infamous scamsters. But let me be clear: it's not Adani we're discussing here (certainly not him, guys!). 

Let's not point fingers in that direction. But just in case you are interested in Adani's scams, then give this article a read.

If I were to sum up the fraudulent amount these five people scammed of, the total would be enormous—more than ₹1,00,000 crore! I mean, that's so big it could make even your smartphone calculator say, "Whoa, that's a lot of zeros!" Think of this article as my version of "Bad Boy Billionaires", but in written form. But there's a small twist! You must determine the scammer's identity based on a hint I will provide. Sounds fun, right? So, let's get on with the game.

Let's now get into the juicy details of these five infamous people who turned scamming into a work of art. Our first character is up for discussion, and here's your little clue to get the guessing game started:

Hint: “Risk hai toh ishq hai!”

This one's a no-brainer, the easiest of them all to take a guess at,

Harshad Mehta Scam

Harshad Mehta: The Stock Market Maestro (or Chaos Creator?) 🫢

Imagine a man who saw the stock market as his own personal playground! Everyone felt lightheaded as Harshad Mehta swung stocks up and down like a child on a sugar rush. Stockbrokers require seat belts because of him!

He is a must-have addition to all the lists regarding scams; otherwise, it would have been an injustice to the world of scammers 🤷‍♀️. He became even more well-known after the web series "Scam 1992", which brought his exploits to the forefront of public awareness.

If you're curious and eager to learn more, be sure to give this article a read.

Now, moving on to the second character on our list.

Here's your clue: He received guidance from Harshad Mehta and is often referred to as the "Pied Piper of Dalal Street".

Ketan Parekh Scam

Ketan Parekh: The Wizard of Weird Investments 😶

Of course, Jesa guru, vesa chela! 

Ketan Parekh had a magic wand, but it wasn't for pulling rabbits out of hats. He had the ability to transform common stocks into glittering gems. Well, that's what he made us think, at least. The catch is that those gems were actually more like imitation jewels than genuine ones; they were attractive but not as valuable as they appeared to be.

If you want a deep dive into the details of the scam he pulled off, make sure to check this out.

Now, onto the third character, and... 

Here's your clue: If you've watched "Scam 2003," a recently released series that's a sequel to "Scam 1992," you're already in the ballpark. And if that's not ringing any bells, just think "The Stamp Duty Scam" – who pops into your head?

Telgi Scam

Abdul Karim Telgi: The Stamp Sultan (and Super Faker) 🥱

A fruit seller who took a detour into the world of scams. He carried out an incredible fraud for ₹20,000 crore, and the twist? Of all things, he used stamp paper to do it! He deserves praise; he was quite intelligent. In fact, he was so slick at it that even the postman might've been tricked by his fake stamp papers! Lol.

If you're eager to learn more about this captivating tale, make sure to take a look at this.

Let's jump onto the next entry, 

Here's your clue: What's the connection between diamonds and Punjab National Bank? Well, this guy is the link.

Nirav Modi Scam

Nirav Modi: The Diamond Dazzler (and Defrauder) 😏

Nirav Modi, an Indian businessman who gained notoriety for his involvement in a major financial scandal. He is the central figure in the Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam, one of the largest banking frauds in India's history.

Nirav Modi's scam involved fraudulent issuance of Letters of Undertaking (LoUs) by a few PNB officials, which allowed his companies to obtain credit from other banks. 

Nirav Modi fled India before the scam was discovered and became the subject of an international manhunt. He was arrested in London in March 2019.

This scandal not only highlighted the need for stricter banking regulations and oversight but also raised questions about the effectiveness of India's legal system in dealing with economic offenders who flee the country. To know all the details, click here.

Finally, our last character and this one is a piece of cake to guess!

Hint: “King of Good Times” 

Vijay Mallya Scam

Vijay Mallya: The King of Good Times (and Bad Loans) 🥲

Oh boy, Vijay Mallya is a well-known Indian businessman and a former member of Rajya Sabha. He made owning an airline into an art form, but he neglected to perfect the challenging talent of loan repayment. 

He is well-known for his enormous debt, much of which stems from the long-gone "Kingfisher Airlines", which left a trail of unpaid loans and gave rise to court disputes. Mallya is suspected of financial fraud, is subject to extradition procedures from the UK, and has become a symbol of high-profile financial criminals. To delve deeper, check this.

To conclude this article, just take a glance at the image below. Doesn't it give the impression of a group in the making, perhaps a gathering of financial fraud committers?

The Bottom Line

Scams continue despite stronger regulations. We've revealed the stories of five exceptional people who have mastered the art of making money vanish. From Harshad Mehta to Vijay Mallya, their stories are both astonishing and entertaining. It serves as a reminder that there are always fresh actors eager to take the stage in the realm of frauds. 

It's a reminder that the world of scams keeps evolving. Therefore, stay alert!

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Sakshi Dhakre

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Sakshi is an adventurous spirit who enjoys both the intellectual stimulation of Finance and the sensory experiences of good food and nature’s beauty. She has a passion for delving into complex financial topics and distilling them down into easy-to-understand insights. When she's not poring over financial reports, you might find her exploring a new corner of the city, trying out new restaurants and cuisines or admiring the beauty of the night sky.

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