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Woman falls victim to trap by fake customs officer, loses 20 lakhs | #cybercrime | #computerhacker

A woman residing in Pedagantyada, Gajuwaka, experienced a distressing revelation when she discovered that a man she had developed an online friendship with had deceived her, leading to a loss of 20 lakhs. The Visakhapatnam Cybercrime Police officials stated that the woman initially befriended a man named Mike Paul Spencer on the internet, who claimed to be a doctor residing in London.

They communicated through social media initially and eventually exchanged phone numbers. In November 2022, Mike informed the woman that he would be sending her a Christmas gift from London.

Shortly thereafter, the woman received a phone call from an individual, purporting to be an International Airport customer service offer. This person informed her that a package addressed to her had arrived from London and that to claim it, she needed to pay a processing fee of Rs 27,500. Trusting Mike, the woman contacted him, and he confirmed that he had sent the gift, insisting that she pay the processing fee to secure it.

Believing his words, the woman proceeded to transfer the money to what she believed to be the customer service officer’s account. Subsequently, she received additional calls demanding larger sums of money, citing various charges such as customs clearance and air tax. Unfortunately, the woman ended up paying a total of Rs 20 lakhs before eventually realising that she had fallen victim to a scam. It was at this point that the woman filed a complaint with the Visakhapatnam Cybercrime Police, who promptly registered a case and formed teams to apprehend the perpetrators.

On 21 May 2023, a team led by cybercrime Inspector K Bhavani Prasad reached New Delhi following a tip-off related to the case. The team successfully apprehended three individuals, namely Arun Kumar Jha (48) and Chandan Kumar (26) from Uttam Nagar, New Delhi, and Rohit Kumar (32) from South West Delhi.

Bhavani Prasad stated that the primary suspect in the case is of Nigerian origin. Further investigation is currently underway to capture the main culprit, he added. The arrested individuals are being transported to Visakhapatnam under a transit warrant.

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