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Online fraudsters are making hay as the sun shines amid the lockdown with a new technique that appears to be working in Pune, Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and other parts of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region.

The scam is simple, insert one’s number with that of a local wine shop. After that when someone calls, one asks the customer to send half the money on PayTm, PhonePe or Google Pay.

Example

Step 1: Customer calls up number available on Google attached to the wine shop.

Step 2: The man claiming to represent the wine shop asks you to transfer half the amount in advance.

Step 3: After half the amount is transferred, the conman sends you a QR code which you have to scan and pay Rs 40 delivery charge.

Step 4: When you do scan the code, it asks you to pay a much higher amount.

Step 5: The caller assures you that it is just Rs 40 that will be transferred. However, when you ask for a refund, the caller disconnects the call.

It’s important that one always check the amount before transferring any money. One number that has cropped up time and again is - 09548876661

Other fraudulent numbers include:

Online fraud in Mumbai and Navi Mumbai: 9548876661 among numbers used by scamsters to trick people buying liquor

Another fraudulent message claims that all brands are available at Victoria wine shop with 30 minute home delivery. "Call me at 8569941692" this scammer urges.

Are wine shops open yet in Maharashtra?

The Maharashtra Excise Dept on Monday estimated that 241 country liquor shops, 328 foreign liquor shops and 274 beer shops in Mumbai and Mumbai Suburban districts would be open starting May 4, following the order issued by the state government to give permission to wine shops to open even in red zones, barring containment areas.

The department is expecting a daily tax revenue of Rs 75 lakh. Currently, the department is coordinating with the city police to avoid crowds.

Initial reports have said that some of the wine shops have already started opening, but it's highly likely that the above ones will open full-scale tomorrow.

All local police stations have been asked to deal with the situation in their area. They would be acting as per requirement to control overcrowding at wineshops," said the spokesperson for the Mumbai police.

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