Parcel frauds on a high: 88 people lose Rs 18 crores in Pune city

Parcel frauds on a high: 88 people lose Rs 18 crores in Pune city

Parcel frauds on a high: 88 people lose Rs 18 crores in Pune city

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In a matter of merely 4 months 88 city residents have lost 18 crores in Pune.

6 May 2024

By Khushi Maheshwari

Cybercriminals based in Haryana, Delhi and Rajasthan have allegedly orchestrated 88 parcel frauds as per probes conducted by Pune’s cyber police between 1st January and 30th April. 

The Pune-based victims of these frauds individually lost amounts in the range of Rs. 53 thousand to Rs. 1.18 crore; while they suffered a collective loss of Rs. 18 crores. The fact that money mule accounts are typically utilised for money transfers has hindered the police’s ability to find the criminals.

The cyber authorities are holding on to their hopes and have assured that some people will be arrested as per the leads they are following. 

The pattern of these scam operations is the same in all these cases, with the criminals pretending to be officials in the Narcotics Control Bureau, Andheri Police Station and similar agencies. They assert that they have intercepted a package from India destined for Taiwan or Thailand, with the victim’s name as the sender. The package is said to include laptops, illegal passports, mephedrone and other substances. According to them, an arrest is about to take place and a case has already been filed. In exchange for sharing the details of bank accounts for money transfers, they demand payment to have the matter closed.

Majority of those who were contacted panicked, believed the bluff and transferred the demanded funds. The global courier services whose name was used as a cover in these scams, as well as the Mumbai police, have released advisories warning people against these fraudulent phone calls. 

Additionally, as per one of the deputy commissioners of the Mumbai police, they have also stressed on reporting any such calls to the nearest police station and not engaging in any monetary transactions. Shailesh Balkawade, additional commissioner of police (crime) explained how the scammers display a sense of urgency for victims, disabling them to think or contact anyone before the transaction is completed. 

Senior Inspector Meenal Patil informed that they have been trying to trace suspects by establishing money trails of bank accounts based in Haryana, Rajasthan, Delhi and other north indian regions. 

It has also been discovered that some of these fraudsters have been purchasing cryptocurrencies to make it harder to trace bank trails.