Over 25 cases of fake websites selling fireworks and crackers have been reported in a month, the Cyber Crime Wing of the Tamil Nadu Police said on Saturday, while issuing an advisory ahead of Deepavali.
The festive holiday season often sees a surge in the demand for fireworks and crackers, but this increased demand can sometimes lead to unscrupulous individuals taking advantage of unsuspecting buyers. Gullible victims fall prey to fraudulent websites promising fireworks and crackers at very low prices, the police said.
The cyber police said some of the victims of such scams had came across a advertisements for an ‘incredible’ sale of fireworks and crackers on a Youtube video. Victims contacted the customer care number mentioned in the video to inquire about the sale. The fraudsters told them to place their order and then share a screenshot. The victims went to the website, https://luckycrackers.com/ and placed the order and then sent the screenshot to the customer care number through WhatsApp.
“Once the payment is made, and orders are placed, the trouble begins. Victims soon realise that the suspect’s contact number and the website becomes unreachable. Their money is gone, and no fireworks are delivered. The victims are left both disappointed and cheated,” Additional Director General of Police, Cyber Crime Wing, Sanjay Kumar said.
The ADGP advised the public to always double-check the legitimacy of the website they are purchasing from and to look for customer reviews, check if the website has any landline number, physical office address and other contact details and ensure it uses secure payment methods.
The officer also asked the public to ensure that the ordered product is delivered before transferring the money, opting for the ‘Cash on Delivery’ option on unknown websites. “If you have shared any personal information on the fake website, take steps to secure your identity, such as changing passwords and monitoring your credit. Keep records of your transactions, including screenshots, e-mail communications, and any contact details from the website. These records will be crucial if you need to report the scam,” said Mr. Kumar.
If anyone suspects that they have been a victim of cyber financial fraud or have come across suspicious activity, they should immediately report the incident to the Cyber Crime Toll Free Helpline, 1930, or register a complaint at www.cybercrime.gov.in.