Fake Customs Official Tricks 70-Year-Old, Loots Rs 3.5 Lakh under False Drug Seizure Claim

Despite the victim vehemently denying any involvement, the fake official produced a purported letter, claiming that the CBI had issued an arrest warrant against him
Fake Customs - Official Tricks - False Drug Seizure Claim - taxscan

A 70-year-old resident of Marine Drive became the target of cyber fraud, losing a significant sum of Rs 3.5 lakh by the fraudsters who impersonated as Fake Customs Officers. The elderly victim, who runs a machine and tools business, found himself ensnared in a web of deceit when he received a deceptive call on January 17, allegedly from an individual posing as a Customs officer based in Lucknow.

During the call, the fraudster claimed that they had intercepted a parcel weighing 4 kg, registered under the victim’s name. The contents purportedly included clothes, 20 passports, and 150 grams of MDMA drug, with the caller insisting that the parcel was destined for Myanmar.

Pressuring the victim, the caller demanded that he travel to Lucknow to provide a statement. When the victim disavowed any connection to the alleged parcel, the caller resorted to threats, hinting at involving the Gomati Nagar police station in Lucknow.

Subsequently, another individual directed the victim to download the Telegram App, initiating a video call to record his statement. During this conversation, the fraudster asserted that a colossal money laundering operation, totaling Rs. 38 crore, had transpired in the victim’s name, with a promised 10% commission. Despite the victim vehemently denying any involvement, the caller produced a purported letter, claiming that the CBI had issued an arrest warrant against him. The threat included the possibility of property seizure and a potential jail sentence of up to five years.

To avoid imminent legal repercussions, the fraudster coerced the victim into transferring Rs 3.5 lakh to a specified bank account. Only after the transaction was completed did the septuagenarian realise the elaborate ruse that had ensnared him. Consequently, on January 20, he lodged a formal complaint with the police, seeking redress and justice for the financial deception he had endured.

The public is strongly advised that legitimate customs officers do not request any monetary payments when apprehending individuals in any situation. If you receive a call from someone purporting to be a customs officer and soliciting money under the pretext of having seized your belongings, remain calm and remember that authentic officers do not seek payments unless it involves bribery. In either scenario, promptly report the incident to the nearest police station for appropriate action.

Support our journalism by subscribing to Taxscan premium. Follow us on Telegram for quick updates