Thrissur: Three women were conned by an unknown person on Facebook and lost Rs 60 lakh as a result of the cyber fraud.
By making the women believe that expensive gifts had been sent from Europe and customs duty was required to receive them, the fraudster defrauded the women out of their money. One of them paid Rs 30 lakh by mortgaging her home and selling gold jewellery. The women have filed a report with the city’s cyber cell.
For months, fraudsters monitor the profiles of women who are very active on Facebook. A friend request is then sent to them. By that point, the fraudsters would have learned a lot about their lifestyle, likes, and dislikes.
Through chatting, they would gradually establish contact. Once they have gained the women’s trust, a request for the WhatsApp number is made. The friendship has now taken on a more personal dimension with the addition of a WhatsApp link
Fraudsters frequently pose as doctors, businessmen, or owners of software companies based in Europe or America. They trick their victims into believing that expensive gifts have been sent to them from Europe on special occasions such as birthdays.
Two to three days later, a call is placed posing as a customs official from Delhi. The ‘customs official’ will notify them that the parcel in their name has arrived and that a small processing fee must be paid.
The stage is set for the big fraud once the victim pays the processing fee.
The fraudsters trick their victims into believing that after scanning the parcel, it was discovered to contain gold ornaments, a watch worth lakhs of rupees, an iPhone, and 50,000 British pounds. Because all of these items are worth crores of rupees, a customs fee of Rs 30 lakh must be paid in order for the articles and foreign currency to be released.
The victims lose lakhs the moment they remit the money.