July 17, 2024

#### CBIC Warns of Scammers Posing as Indian Customs Officers

In recent news, the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has urged the public to remain conscientious of fraudsters claiming to be officials from Indian Customs. Many instances of these scams have been reported through various news platforms and social media.

The scams are mainly perpetrated through digital means, such as telephone calls or text messages. Scammers try to illicit fear in their victims by claiming they are under immediate risk of legal penalties in a bid to steal their money.

To battle these scams, CBIC is launching a comprehensive awareness campaign. This campaign includes advertisements in newspapers, SMS and emails to the public, a social media campaign, and awareness events led by CBIC regional bodies.

CBIC has suggested several measures to prevent falling prey to such scams. Firstly, understanding the methods used by fraudsters can be beneficial. Protecting personal information, verifying the identity of the caller, and being vigilant can also help thwart such fraudulent attempts.

Typically, scammers might send fake text messages or calls. They may pretend to be employees from courier services and dupe unsuspecting victims through calls, messages, or emails. They claim that a package or parcel is held by customs, and duties or taxes need to be paid before it can be released.

Furthermore, these offenders may also impersonate customs, police or CBI officials and demand payments for duties or clearance fees for packages supposedly received from foreign countries. Deceived individuals are urged to make payments for the release of their goods.

Victims are led to believe their packages are seized due to violations of customs laws, such as illegal contents or contraband items. They are threatened with legal actions or fines, and demanded payment to supposedly resolve the issue.

#### Related Questions:

##### What is the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC)?
CBIC is a part of the Department of Revenue under the Ministry of Finance, Government of India. It controls matters related to levying and collection of customs and central excise duties, service tax, and other related functions.

##### How can the public safeguard themselves against such scams?
The public can protect themselves by being aware of the common tactics used by fraudsters, safeguarding their personal information, verifying the identity of callers, and remaining vigilant about any unusual requests or demands.

##### What kind of awareness campaign is CBIC launching?
CBIC’s awareness campaign includes newspaper advertisements, SMS and emails to the public, social media campaigns, and awareness drives led by CBIC regional bodies to educate the public about these fraudulent activities.