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The Rs 1.3 Crore Scam: How Cyber Criminals Preyed on a 73-Year-Old Woman’s Fears



73-Year-Old Woman Scammed Out of Rs 1.3 Crore by Cybercriminals in Noida

A senior citizen in Noida, 73-year-old Shuchi Agrawal, has become the victim of a cunning cyber fraud that tricked her out of a whopping Rs 1.3 crore. This incident, reported on Friday, June 21st, 2024, sheds light on the increasingly sophisticated tactics employed by cybercriminals to target unsuspecting individuals.

The elaborate scheme began with a seemingly innocuous phone call. Agrawal received a call from someone posing as an employee of FedEx courier service. This individual raised a red flag, claiming they had intercepted a package addressed to her that contained suspicious items, including drugs and electronic devices.

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But the scam didn’t end there. The fraudsters cleverly manipulated the situation further. They connected  Agrawal via Skype to individuals claiming to be officials from the Mumbai Police Narcotics department. Over a period of five days, these imposters wove a web of lies. They managed to convince  Agrawal that her Aadhaar card was linked to six bank accounts involved in money laundering.

Panicked and fearing legal repercussions,  Agrawal fell prey to their elaborate story. To “clear her name” from this fabricated crime, the fraudsters instructed her to transfer money for a supposedly mandatory Police Clearance Certificate (PCC). Believing she was dealing with legitimate authorities, Agrawal transferred a staggering total of Rs 1.3 crore to various bank accounts provided by the scammers.

Unfortunately, it took  Agrawal some time to realize she had been the victim of a cyber fraud. However, once she understood the situation, she wasted no time in contacting the Noida police. She filed a complaint, providing crucial details like the bank accounts where she had unknowingly transferred the money.

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The Cyber Crime police station has responded swiftly, registering a case under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Information Technology Act (IT Act). These sections specifically address offenses like cheating by impersonation, criminal breach of trust, and using computer resources to commit fraud.

Agrawal’s case highlights that all citizens should be extremely cautious when receiving unsolicited calls or online messages. Here are some key safety tips to remember:

  • Never share personal information or financial details over the phone or internet with unknown individuals. Legitimate organizations will not ask for such information through unsolicited calls or messages.
  • Always verify the legitimacy of any calls or messages claiming to be from official authorities. Don’t hesitate to directly contact the relevant organization through their official channels to confirm the information.
  • If you suspect you are being targeted by a scam, report it immediately to the cyber crime authorities. By staying informed and vigilant, we can collectively fight the growing threat of cybercrime.

Remember, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t be afraid to question and verify information before taking any action, especially when it involves financial transactions. By following these simple steps, you can help protect yourself from falling victim to similar cyber scams.

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