HomeSecurity ArchitectureScammers impersonate DoT officials, defraud Bengaluru woman of Rs 30 lakh

Scammers impersonate DoT officials, defraud Bengaluru woman of Rs 30 lakh

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In a disturbing trend, cyber fraudsters are now adopting new tactics by posing as officials from the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to deceive innocent members of the public. This comes as people have become more cautious about scams involving entities like FedEx and the Income Tax Department. A recent victim of this elaborate scheme was a woman from northern Bengaluru who fell prey to these con artists, losing a staggering amount of Rs 30 lakh over a period of 14 days.

The victim, identified only as Nida, was approached by the scammers who pretended to be officers from the Telecommunication Department. They spun a tale involving the misuse of her Aadhaar biometric data to obtain SIM cards in Mumbai for illicit purposes. To add credibility to their story, the fraudsters even roped in an accomplice posing as a police officer from the Andheri police station in Mumbai. Through a series of intimidating phone calls and video messages, they convinced Nida that her identity had been used for criminal activities, including setting up bank accounts for illegal transactions.

As the scam unfolded, Nida was coerced into believing that her bank accounts needed to be verified as part of the ongoing investigation. Initially, she was asked to make a small payment that would allegedly be refunded later. However, the fraudsters gradually escalated their demands, pressuring her to transfer more money in order to clear her name. Falling deeper into the trap, Nida ended up sending a total of Rs 30 lakh before realizing she had been duped. It was only after she mustered the courage to file a police complaint on May 6 that the full extent of the scam came to light.

Authorities have since launched an investigation into the incident, registering a case under relevant sections of the IT Act and IPC Section 420 for cheating. A police official involved in the case remarked that this modus operandi bore similarities to the infamous FedEx scam, suggesting that cyber criminals are constantly evolving their methods to evade detection. By exploiting lesser-known government departments and intimidating their targets, these fraudsters manipulate victims into complying with their demands.

The officer also highlighted the lack of awareness among the public regarding cybercrimes, noting that many individuals are easily swayed by the elaborate schemes concocted by scammers. In a bid to curb such fraudulent activities, the Department of Telecommunications issued a statement cautioning the public against sharing sensitive information over the phone. They urged individuals to report any suspicious calls through the ‘Chakshu-Report Suspected Fraud Communications’ portal to assist in the prevention of telecom-related cybercrimes.

In conclusion, this incident serves as a stark reminder of the ever-evolving nature of cyber fraud and the importance of vigilance in safeguarding personal information. With scammers resorting to increasingly sophisticated tactics, it is crucial for the public to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activities to the authorities promptly. By raising awareness and staying informed, individuals can protect themselves from falling victim to such malicious schemes in the future.

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