A 23-year-old woman working as an IT support engineer had recently become a victim of courier fraud. She was targeted by a group of scammers conned her over a WhatsApp/regular call pretending to be customer care operators of a courier company, customs as well as police officials and induce the victims to pay money by putting them under fear stating that a parcel belonging to them contained illegal items. The scammers forced the victim to take a personal loan and pay them.
According to the police, the victim, who is originally from Ahmednagar, works in a private company in Mumbai. On October 25, the victim got a call from an unknown mobile number and the caller told her that he was calling from a courier company and a parcel of hers destined to Thailand has been intercepted which contained unauthorised items like laptop, pen drive, clothes and MDMA 950 grams (drugs). The victim was then told that the call is being forwarded to the police and the victim can inform them if the said parcel did not belong to her.
Fraudsters threatened victim of legal actions
A man who claimed to be a police officer then told the victim that she would have to give a video statement over a Skype call. The victim then received a Skype call having the User ID as Mumbai NCB Department. The caller then told the victim that her Aadhaar card and mobile number are linked to different banks and unauthorised money laundering is taking place through them. The scammers then put the victim in fear of legal action and forced her to get a personal loan of Rs 5 lakh from her bank and send it to the bank account provided by them.
Police registers case against fraudsters
The victim then placed the loan request in her bank's mobile application and managed to get a Rs 4.91 lakh loan. The victim then sent Rs 5 lakh to the scammers. However, when the scammers asked her to send another Rs 5 lakh, the victim suspected something amiss and approached the police last week. The police has registered a case under sections 419 (cheating by personation), 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) of the Indian Penal Code and 66D (cheating by impersonation by using computer resource) of the Information Technology Act.