MUMBAI: A 36-year-old woman from Maharashtra’s Thane city has been allegedly duped of more than Rs 12 lakh by cyber fraudsters. According to the police, the woman was contacted by a man on social media who claimed to be from Malaysia and working in the UK.
The man sent her a gift and later, a woman posing as a customs official called her and told her that she needed to pay some money to get the gift released from customs.
The woman ended up paying over Rs 12 lakh in bank transactions to get the gift and foreign currency that the man sent. However, she never received the gift and suffered a huge financial loss.
What Is Facebook Gifting and Romance Scam
Facebook gifting and romance scams are types of online scams that aim to deceive users by offering them gifts or romantic relationships in exchange for money or personal information. These scams typically involve a fraudster creating a fake social media profile and using it to target vulnerable users, often those who are elderly, lonely or susceptible to emotional manipulation.
In a Facebook gifting scam, the fraudster poses as a friend or acquaintance and offers the victim a gift, such as a cash prize or an expensive electronic item. The victim is then asked to pay a small fee to receive the gift, often via wire transfer or prepaid card. However, once the payment is made, the fraudster disappears and the victim is left with nothing.
In a Facebook romance scam, the fraudster creates a fake profile and poses as someone who is attractive and looking for a romantic relationship. They use flattering language and romantic gestures to gain the victim’s trust and affection. Once the fraudster has gained the victim’s trust, they may ask for money, claiming they need it for a medical emergency or to travel to meet the victim in person. In some cases, the fraudster may also use the victim’s personal information to steal their identity or commit other forms of fraud.
Such cyber fraud incidents are becoming increasingly common, and it is important to take preventive measures to protect yourself from falling prey to such scams.
Here are some tips:
- Be wary of strangers online: Be cautious when interacting with strangers online, especially those who claim to be from another country or ask for personal information or money.
- Don’t trust unsolicited messages: Be wary of unsolicited messages, emails, or calls asking for money or personal information. Don’t click on any links or download any attachments from unknown sources.
- Verify the source: If you receive a message or call from someone claiming to be from a company or organization, verify their identity and contact information before sharing any personal or financial information.
- Use secure payment methods: Use secure payment methods like credit cards or payment apps that offer fraud protection. Avoid making payments through bank transfers or other non-secure methods.
- Report suspicious activity: If you suspect that you have been a victim of cyber fraud or have received suspicious messages or calls, report it to the police or cybercrime cell immediately.
By following these preventive measures, you can protect yourself from cyber fraudsters and avoid falling prey to their scams. Remember, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
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