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Victims lose ₹5.92 crore to 12 courier frauds in last five months in Visakhapatnam | #cybercrime | #computerhacker

Cybercrime police have issued an advisory urging the public to be cautious of the increasing number of courier frauds popularly known as ‘FedEx frauds’.

As per the police records, in the last five months, the city has recorded 12 courier scams wherein the victims have reportedly lost over ₹6 crore.

Modus operandi

Perpetrators approach victims over the phone and introduce themselves as a courier agent from Mumbai, Bangalore or other metro cities. They tell the victim that a parcel was booked in their name in which they have found unauthorised materials like fake passports, narcotics or ammunition.

In order to ensure that the victim believes them completely, the perpetrators also give the victim’s Aadhaar details, address, and other details that they would already gather. They later claim that they pass on the phone call to law enforcement agencies like Cybercrime, Crime Branch, Enforcement Directorate (ED), or Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) officials, where other fraudsters speak to the victims, terrorise them, and extract money.

In most cases, the fraudsters instruct the victim to attend a video call after claiming themselves as officials from law enforcement agencies. They also spin a story about illegal transactions using their Aadhaar number. They further convince the victims to transfer amounts from their bank account to a fake RBI Bank account for verification purposes. Besides, they warn about contacting anyone about the issue and threaten them with dire consequences.

In a recent case, a businessman from the city received a call in which the fraudster claimed himself as a courier office agent from Mumbai and stated that they found a courier booked under his name from Mumbai to Taiwan in which there were fake passports.

The miscreants threatened the businessman that an FIR was also registered under his name. Another miscreant, who introduced himself as a Crime branch officer, informed him that his money transactions were found to be made to terrorists and that the money was used for the purchase of illegal weapons.

When the victim was in a panic, the fraudsters asked him to transfer money to his accounts. They promised to return the money after verification by the RBI officials. To gain the victim’s trust, the miscreants also sent a fake RBI notice letter to him.

After transferring ₹1.30 crore, the complainant realised that he had been cheated and lodged a police complaint. Due to timely intervention, the police were able to freeze around ₹86 lakh of the transferred amount.

As per the cybercrime police, the miscreants target businessmen, retired officers, senior citizens and high-income individuals.

The police said that this year alone, as many as 12 courier scams came to light in which around ₹5.92 crore was lost by the victims. However, after the complaints, the police were able to freeze over ₹1.04 crore, they said.

The police appealed to the public to dial 1930, the cybercrime police, or approach the nearest police station immediately in case of any cyber attack.

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