"The digital age has increased the reach of cyber fraudsters, as they can target countless people with each plot. These confidence tricksters posing as Customs officials, are defrauding people of crores of rupees using a combination of social media and social engineering skills" a post in TN police Facebook page said.
These scammers sell cheap products through social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, etc. Victims fall for such cheap prices and order the products online.
The fraudsters demand for online payment and once the payment is done, they send the tracking ID. The scammers then impersonate as customs officials and calls the victim stating that their product in having issues with taxes and is at Customs office, TN police said while explaining through modus operandi.
The scammers then demand for money as taxes for the delivery of product. Once the amount is credited to them, they switch off the numbers and deny all other requests by victim, police noted.
Another similar scam is where the fraudsters target the victims using social engineering and befriend the victims online. They gain the confidence and trust of victims and after that they would tell the victim that an expensive gift was sent and that it was caught by the Customs officials and that money should be transferred towards customs duties.
Precautions advised :
- Always cross check whether the social media page is legitimate and check for its reviews before ordering products online.
- Do not transfer huge amount recklessly to unknown bank accounts.
- Never fall prey to any unknown person befriending you for a short time and offering expensive gifts.
- Be aware that customs officials never call people and ask money as customs duty or other charges. If someone is calling in the guise of such officials, simply ignore them.