In India, instances of phoney courier frauds are increasing. Many people have lost thousands of rupees over the past few weeks as a result of calls they received from con artists posing as police personnel. These con artists frequently get in touch with their victims and make up stories about having a package with illicit products for them. The con artists trick their victims into handing over money when they fall for their trap. In a recent incident, a Bengaluru-based techie lost Rs 33.24 lakh to these con artists.
According to a recent instance covered by the Indian Express, a 39-year-old Bengaluru-based software developer got a false phone call on June 29. The caller introduced himself as a FedEx delivery service partner and claimed that the Mumbai police had seized a box addressed to the engineer that contained prohibited substances. He also told the engineer that his Aadhaar number was being used to send the confiscated shipment to Taiwan.
In an attempt to further verify the situation, the caller connected the engineer to an individual posing as a Mumbai deputy commissioner of police. The fake police officer informed the engineer that a money laundering case had been registered against him and instructed him to join a Skype call with the ‘DCP’ to proceed with the case.
The engineer joined the Skype call because he thought it was a legitimate call from police authorities. But as soon as he revealed his information, the bogus DCP demanded money transfers to many accounts to begin the verification procedure. The engineer was also requested to submit photos to support his qualifications. The engineer was even given a guarantee by the bogus DCP that his money will be returned to him when the accounts had been verified.
In distress, the engineer transferred around Rs 33,24,859 to multiple accounts provided by the person claiming to be a Mumbai police officer. However, the amount was not refunded to him as promised. Realising he had been defrauded, the engineer filed a complaint at the South East CEN police station.
In a similar incident, the wife of a faculty member at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, fell victim to a scam and lost Rs 1.73 lakh. The professor, aged 46, lodged a complaint on June 26, explaining that his wife had received a call from an individual posing as a Mumbai police narcotics division officer. According to the professor, the imposter alleged that his wife’s bank account had received illicit funds connected to money laundering. Under the pretence of verifying her bank account details, the fraudulent police officer managed to deceive the professor’s wife and extract Rs 1,73,830 from her.
While investigations into these cases are ongoing, the police department has asked individuals to stay informed and avoid any suspicious calls pretending to be from the courier department or police department.
Meanwhile, here are some tips to help you avoid falling prey to a fake courier scam:
1. Avoid sharing personal information: Refrain from providing your personal details, such as your name, address, bank account number, or credit card number, over the phone.
2. Beware of immediate payment demands: Be skeptical of any calls or emails that urge you to make immediate payments. Legitimate companies typically do not pressure you to pay fines or fees on the spot.
3. Verify suspicious communication: If you are unsure about the legitimacy of a call or email, hang up on the call and block the number.
4. Report the scam: If you have fallen victim to a fake courier scam, promptly report it to the police. Additionally, contact your bank or credit card company to cancel your accounts and dispute any unauthorized charges.