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Kerala: Kochi man loses Rs 1.2 crore to scamsters; Here's how

There is an increase of prevalence of cyber fraud in various parts of the state, with scammers impersonating authorities to extort money from unsuspecting victims. Instances include a resident of Ernakulam losing Rs 1.2 crore to a fake TRAI message and another individual being threatened by imposters claiming to be Mumbai police, resulting in a loss of Rs 30 lakh. 

Kerala: Kochi man loses Rs 1.2 crore to scamsters; Here's how anr
First Published Apr 12, 2024, 6:11 PM IST

Recently, there has been a surge in reports of extortion cases involving law enforcement agencies, including the Police, Narcotics Control Bureau, TRAI, CBI, Enforcement Directorate, Cyber Cell, Intelligence Agencies, and police forces from different states. Victims often receive communication claiming that contraband items such as drugs, Aadhaar cards, passports, etc., have been found in packages they sent or received via courier.

In some instances, individuals may receive messages alleging that an Aadhaar card or credit card bearing their name was discovered during a search related to another investigation. Scammers may exploit websites by falsely claiming that the recipient accessed pornography. These messages, received via phone or email, inform the recipient of a case filed against them and provide fabricated identity cards from purported investigating agencies along with fake case registration documents in an attempt to deceive them.

Upon searching the website provided for the identity card information, recipients may experience panic upon discovering a fabricated officer with a fake name. Subsequently, callback scammers coerce individuals into participating in video calls via platforms like Skype. During these calls, scammers may impersonate senior police officers by wearing uniforms. They assert that the individual has committed a serious offense, claiming complete control over them and imposing a virtual arrest. Furthermore, they assert that the individual cannot leave their location without their authorization.

During the video call, scammers may inquire about personal information and financial status. Subsequently, they may claim that the individual's savings will undergo verification, with the assurance of a refund once legitimacy is confirmed. To complete the scam, individuals are instructed to deposit money into a bank account provided by the scammers under the pretense that it will be refunded afterward.

Numerous individuals across the state have fallen victim to such scams, resulting in significant financial losses. For instance, a resident of Ernakulam lost Rs 1.2 crore after responding to a fraudulent phone message purportedly from the office of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). In another incident, Rs 30 lakh was extorted from an individual through threats made during a call impersonating the Mumbai police. It's important to note that reporting such incidents promptly can increase the chances of recovering lost funds. If you become a victim, reporting the scam to 1930 within the first hour improves the likelihood of retrieving your money.

It's crucial to remember that investigative agencies have the legal authority to freeze suspicious accounts and will never ask individuals to hand over their savings or money for verification. If anyone makes such a request over the phone or email, it should be reported immediately to 1930 Cyber Police. In case you receive such calls, promptly disconnect and notify the police by dialing 1930. Combatting cyber fraud requires utmost vigilance from individuals.

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