India’s new courier fraud costs thousands of lives

India's new courier fraud costs thousands of lives

India is seeing an increase in cyber scam cases, with victims losing thousands of dollars to online con artists’ schemes. Even more upsetting is the fact that con artists frequently come up with fresh techniques to trick people. Because of this, even when someone is aware of a certain scam, the advent of new scams frequently causes confusion among people, making them vulnerable to these online frauds. The courier or parcel scam is one of these frauds that is currently on the rise.

A brief about India’s new courier fraud costs thousands of lives

A PhD candidate at the Indian Institute of Science in Bengaluru recently reported a scam to the police.  The student lost Rs. 1,34,650 after getting a call from someone impersonating as a FedEx representative, according to a report by Indian Express. The caller stated that her identity had been stolen and that a box sent to her contained prohibited materials.

The woman goes on to say that the caller then put her in touch with someone they said was from the Mumbai Narcotics Division to verify her identity. She was then invited to a Skype chat when they asked for her statements and showed her official paperwork from the CBI and RBI. Additionally, con artists demanded her bank statement and money in order to verify her bank accounts.

“They claimed to be a member of the Mumbai Narcotics Division and accused me of selling MDMA illegally. I transferred the money out of extreme fear and terror,” she admitted. The victim reportedly sent Rs 1,34,650 to the con artist’s bank account.

Another incident involving cyber fraud included a Mumbai-based IT specialist who was taken advantage of by criminals posing as drug enforcement agents. The swindle cost the woman Rs. 1.97 lakh. Similar to this, a doctor from Delhi lost close to Rs 4.47 crore a few weeks back after falling for a related scam.

Nithin Kamath, the founder and CEO of the financial services company Zerodha, recently brought attention to a similar issue on social media on June 23.

Cyber criminals are deliberately targeting young people in this new courier scam, which worries and distresses them. They get in touch with the victims and let them know that “courier parcels” with allegedly illegal goods like drugs are being sent abroad in their names.

As soon as the victim accepts their allegations, the con artists ask them to join a Skype chat where they pretend to be drug enforcement officials. They manipulate and harass the victim further during the call. They ask the victim for their Aadhaar, other forms of identity, bank account information, and other information.

Under the guise of verification, the con artists also ask the victim to provide money while promising them that it will be reimbursed. However, as soon as the victim sends the money, the con artists cut off all communication, leaving the victims helpless to recover their money.

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