Online scams are on the rise, with a surge in cases reported across the country in recent months. In a disturbing incident from Puducherry, a retired headmaster lost a staggering Rs 43.90 lakh to a complex online racket. The victim’s ordeal began with an approach from an individual claiming to be a retiring teacher from Syria, seeking assistance to invest $4.5 million in India. What started as a seemingly legitimate opportunity took a sinister turn as the scammers spun a web of manipulation.
The perpetrators devised an elaborate scheme that exploited the victim’s trust at every step. The woman, who initiated contact on Facebook, proposed sending the investment money within a parcel. As the victim agreed, the scammers introduced more characters into the scenario, impersonating officials from the Reserve Bank of India, the Indian Embassy, and intermediaries. Through coercion and persuasion, they coerced the victim into sending Rs 43.90 lakh across 143 transactions.
This is not an isolated case. The “parcel trick” has ensnared several individuals in recent months. Scammers often pose as overseas entities seeking assistance, sometimes escalating to fake calls claiming parcels with illegal items are held at airports. The fraudsters then impersonate law enforcement officials, extorting money from victims to supposedly resolve the situation.
Authorities stress that greed remains a key driver of these scams. To protect oneself, citizens are advised to approach online opportunities with skepticism, avoid clicking on suspicious links, and refrain from engaging with unfamiliar foreign numbers. Vigilance and awareness are paramount in thwarting these cybercriminals and safeguarding finances from their clutches.