July 17, 2024

A 33-year-old assistant professor from Udupi, a city in Karnataka, fell prey to a FedEx-related fraudulent scheme and lost 7.9 lakh rupees. A complaint has been lodged at the Manipal police station in Udupi, invoking sections 66(C), 66(D) of the Information Technology Act and IPC sections 419 and 420. Investigations are currently underway. The victim, named Namrata, got scammed by fraudsters who conned her into paying money for alleged police verification.

Fake Drug Bust Scam and its Consequences

Namrata received a call from one Sanjay Kumar, claiming to be a FedEx employee, on June 22nd. She was informed of a seized parcel with five Iranian passports, five debit cards, some clothing and MDMA drugs, apparently addressed to her.

Namrata was threatened with an FIR filed with Mumbai police against her. Following her obvious panic, she was connected to another person posing as a Mumbai police official.

The fraudsters showed Namrata a faked FIR copy, informed her that her Aadhaar card details were used in money laundering activities, and insisted on sharing bank details and a certain amount of money for verification purposes.

With the option to either visit the Mumbai police station or cooperate online, Namrata chose the latter. She was instructed to download Skype and participate in a video call where she was asked to share her Aadhaar card and bank debit card details. Furthermore, Namrata was duped to transfer Rs. 7.9 lakh for supposed police verification. After the money transfer, Namrata reported the incident to the police department.

Preventive Measures against Online Fraud

Always verify the caller’s identity, particularly if they represent a government body or a renowned company. Confirm the identity of an alleged representative from banks or financial institutions earlier to starting any financial dealings. If a sense of urgency is being pushed by legal threats, be suspicious.

Don’t disclose personal information like Aadhaar or bank information over the phone or the internet unless you can confirm the recipient’s identity. Even without sharing OTPs or bank information, you could be swindled if you accidentally load malware on your phone. Therefore, be cautious about downloading unknown apps and unknown links sent by strangers. Use latest anti-virus, anti-spyware, and firewall protection to safeguard your device.

If you suspect a scam, contact the nearby police or cybercrime department and your bank as swiftly as possible to prevent further loss. Stay informed about new cybercrime trends to stay one step ahead of the fraudsters.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some of the early warning signs of a scam?

Immediate red flags include unsolicited communication, calls demanding urgent action, threats of legal consequences, and requests for personal or financial information.

What should I do if I suspect a scam?

If you suspect a scam, contact your local police or cybercrime department. Notify your bank immediately if you have shared any sensitive details or made a payment.

How can I protect myself from scams?

Always verify the identity of the caller, particularly if they are from a financial institution or government agency. Do not share personal or financial details unless you are sure of the recipient’s identity. And always use updated antivirus, firewall, and anti-spyware software to safeguard your devices from potential threats.