DEHRADUN: The Cyber Crime Police Station (CCPS) in Dehradun has issued a warning to the public following a rising number of cyber complaints related to fraudulent activities involving FedEx parcels.
In a disturbing trend, victims, particularly doctors, are being targeted and intimidated into believing that illegal substances, forged passports, and contraband items were discovered within parcels addressed to them. As a result, victims are coerced into paying large sums of money to the criminals.
Disturbing Modus Operandi
The cyber criminals responsible for this racket have been employing sophisticated tactics to trap unsuspecting victims. The Dehradun Special Task Force (STF) of the Cyber Police Station has identified two primary methods used by the criminals to ensnare their victims.
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- The Honey Trap Approach
In this method, victims receive unknown friend requests from foreign nationals on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. Once the friendship is established, the criminal promises to send a valuable parcel containing jewelry or import-export goods. However, once the parcel reaches the victim, it is revealed to contain illegal content such as drugs, counterfeit passports, or other illicit documents. The criminals then claim that the content has been seized by customs or immigration officials, leading to legal complications.
- The Impersonation Scam
In this variant of the scam, victims receive WhatsApp messages or calls from unknown numbers. The callers impersonate officials from airports or immigration check posts and claim that a FedEx parcel or custom parcel addressed to the victim has been seized. Similar to the honey trap approach, the parcel is alleged to contain illegal items. The criminals proceed to fabricate stories of police involvement and legal cases against the victim, driving them to panic and desperation.
Law Enforcement’s Vigilance and Prior Success
The Dehradun Cyber Police Station has a history of robust action against cyber criminals. Notably, in 2021 and 2022, several Nigerians and Cameroon nationals were apprehended and sent to jail for their involvement in cyber crimes. This year, the CCPS Dehradun team has taken legal action against eight Nigerians, marking one of the largest operations against cyber criminals in India.
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Urgent Awareness Tips
The Dehradun Cyber Police Station has issued a series of awareness tips to help the public guard against falling victim to such scams:
Exercise Caution with Friend Requests: Avoid accepting friend requests from unknown individuals on social media platforms.
Beware of Unsolicited Offers: Do not trust promises of gifts or parcels from unfamiliar numbers or contacts.
Stay Calm During Calls: If receiving a call from someone claiming to represent FedEx, a courier service, or an airport, stay composed and do not be pressured into hasty decisions.
Verify Suspicious Claims: If informed of a parcel seizure or legal issue, take steps to verify the claims before taking any action.
Avoid Sending Money for Legal Assistance: Do not make payments in the name of legal assistance without proper verification from legitimate sources.
Safeguard Personal Information: Refrain from sharing personal identification documents with unknown individuals on social media or messaging platforms.
Report Suspicious Activity: Immediately contact the police if you receive threatening or suspicious calls attempting to coerce you into illegal activities.
For any cyber crime complaints, individuals are urged to use the NCRP Portal (www.cybercrime.gov.in), and for financial fraud complaints, the helpline number 1930 is available.
The Dehradun Cyber Police Station emphasizes the importance of vigilance and awareness to prevent falling victim to these increasingly intricate cyber scams.
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