Monday, June 24, 2024

Cyber fraudsters impersonating officials to cheat public

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Cyber fraudsters posing as officials from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), Mumbai Police, and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) have been deceiving residents in Vizag, Vijayawada, and other towns in Andhra Pradesh, extracting lakhs of rupees.
In a recent incident, a young man named Kumar from Vizag received a call from an unidentified individual claiming to be a TRAI officer. The caller accused Kumar of using three mobile numbers illegally and threatened to block his numbers. Shortly after, Kumar received a video call from someone alleging to be from the crime branch of the Mumbai police, accusing him of money laundering through his bank account. Another call followed from a supposed CBI officer in Mumbai, alleging a one-crore rupee money laundering case against him.
The fraudsters pressured Kumar, demanding he pay 20 lakh rupees to a Reserve Bank of India agency, promising the amount would be returned after an investigation. Terrified by the successive threats, Kumar transferred the money to the provided account. It was only later that Kumar realized he had been scammed. “Cybercrooks are exploiting the fear factor and looting people. The fraudsters have extracted 4 crore rupees from Vizag residents by posing as TRAI, Mumbai Police, and CBI officers in the past fifteen days,” said Inspector K Bhavani Prasad of the Cybercrimes Police Station in Vizag.
Vizag has also witnessed a spate of courier frauds. Fraudsters, pretending to be customs officials, deceive victims by claiming that intercepted parcels contain contraband. They demand immediate payments ranging from 5 to 20 lakh rupees to avoid prosecution. “The fraudsters create a sense of urgency, coercing their victims into paying large sums immediately,” explained Vizag City Police Chief Dr A Ravi Shankar. Following these courier scams, the impersonation of TRAI and CBI officials marks the latest tactic used by fraudsters to swindle residents in Andhra Pradesh. Authorities urge the public to remain vigilant and report any suspicious calls to the police immediately.

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