Gurugram woman receives call from fake IPS officers, loses Rs 8.3 Lakh in online scam

By Divya Bhati: In the past few months, India has been witnessing a sharp rise in online scam cases. Scammers have been using new ways to trick innocent people and dupe them of their hard-earned money. One of the ways in which scammers are stealing money is by threatening people, posing as cops from NCB and IPS officers. In one of the recent cases, a woman from Gurugram fell victim to a similar fraud, in which she allegedly received a call from a courier company and then from IPS officers about a parcel that had been confiscated at the airport in her name.

Prachi Sharma, a resident of Housing Board Society, Gurugram, who is currently residing in Greater Noida, received a Skype call from an unknown user on May 3. The fraudsters introduced themselves as officers of the Mumbai Crime Branch and informed her about a parcel in her name that had arrived at the airport. They further told her that the parcel contains drugs and foreign currency, and an investigation is underway regarding the same.

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Being sceptical about a sudden call, the victim asked the caller about their identity, to which the scammers introduced themselves as Bal Singh Rajput and Smita Patel and showed their identity cards on the Skype call. They then informed the victim that they are authorised to access her bank account and asked her to cooperate in the investigation.

Later, when the victim also showed the details of her bank and identity proof, the scammers further threatened her and her family with charges of money laundering and other crimes. They asked her to transfer Rs 8.4 lakh to clear their names from the case.

Fearing charges, the victim transferred the amount to the fraudsters to protect her and her family’s reputation. However, upon receiving the money, the scammers blocked her, cut contact with the victim, and disappeared. Upon realising she had been scammed, the victim reported a complaint to the police station.

While the case is under investigation, police officials say that several “drugs in parcel” cases have been reported from across the country in the past few months. According to Indian Express, since April 2023, victims have lost around Rs 1.5 crore after falling prey to these scams.

Earlier, Zerodha CEO Nithin Kamath also shared a similar fraud incident. Kamath warned netizens about falling prey to such cybercrimes and narrated the incident of how one of his colleagues was duped by an individual claiming to be from the courier company FedEx.

His colleague was informed that the police had seized a parcel containing drugs and was instructed to transfer money to resolve the matter. Kamath emphasized the importance of vigilance against such calls, stating that even employees of a company that constantly raises awareness about cyber fraud can be targeted.

To avoid falling victim to such scams, the police have issued a warning, urging people to be skeptical about calls from unknown numbers and refrain from sharing any sensitive information. Additionally, it is advisable to stay informed about online scam cases, as being aware can help you recognize and handle similar incidents with caution.

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