Fraudsters posing as staff of shopping sites to cheat people

Sunil Pradhan
Friday, 25 January 2019

On December 23 last year, a 21-year-old girl ended up losing Rs 77,213 while buying a pair of shoes online after she contacted the customer care department of the online store. Following the incident, she lodged a cheating case at Sinhagad Road police station.

Pune: On December 23 last year, a 21-year-old girl ended up losing Rs 77,213 while buying a pair of shoes online after she contacted the customer care department of the online store. Following the incident, she lodged a cheating case at Sinhagad Road police station.
 
As per the complaint filed by the girl, she was trying to buy the shoes worth Rs 1,449 from an e-retailer. The girl chose to pay through online payment mode using her IDBI Bank card. However, as the girl did not receive a confirmation message of the transaction she approached the customer care department, where she was informed that the company will refund the money. 

The customer care person then asked her to share her bank details for the refund. The complainant did the same However, the girl soon realised that she lost Rs 77,213 in total from her and her mother’s bank accounts. 

In another incident, a 24-year-old Sumit Gholwad from Kothrud, was allegedly cheated to the tune of Rs 52,235 by a fraudster who posed as a customer care executive of a shopping website. The fraudster called up Sumit and assured him gifts if he buys anything from the website. Sumit fell for the trap and bought a wristwatch. Following the incident, the fraudster informed Sumit that he has won an iPhone and to claim the same he needs to pay GST for the mobile phone. Sumit did as instructed by the fraudster. Later the fraudster asked Sumit to pay for insurance fee and in all the fraudster took Rs 52,235 from him without giving him any gift.
 
While incidents of fraudsters posing as customer care executives  (CCEs) and laying the phishing trap have been common, fraudsters are now posing as customer care executives of shopping and other websites to cheat people. The city police cyber crime cell has been receiving such complaints from people where the fraudsters are posing as customer care executives.

Speaking on the issue, a police official said that fraudsters continue to use different tricks but people should stick to basic fraud prevention technique. “People should never share their financial details with anybody and never pay an advance fee to anyone,” said a police inspector who has served the cyber crime department.

Speaking on the issue cyber expert Anil Raj of Cybervault Securities Solutions Private Limited said that people should be aware that fraudsters use social engineering to phish for basic details of the victim before launching their attack. “People should also be alert as there are spoof websites, emails which are used by fraudsters to trap genuine customers,” added Raj.

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