Fraud Alert: How People Are Being Cheated Everyday
Yogesh Sapkale | 29 April 2022
As I mentioned in my previous article, every fraud originates from one of the two factors: either fear or greed. And this applies to everyone, whether young or old. The difference, however, is that for senior citizens, the digital age of communication is proving to be the cure being worse than the ailment: it appears that they were better off in the old regime as, without adequate knowledge or information about the digital world, they are increasingly ending up as victims of online fraud.
Take a look at some frauds reported this week:  
Seniors Targeted and Lured into Clicking Link in SMS
A few days ago, a senior citizen received messages under the pretext of crediting money in his account. All these SMSes came within two-three hours. However, alarmed by these messages about his bank account, he showed it to his son. When his son checked these messages, he immediately realised it was spam aimed at defrauding his father. 
Usually, I avoid sharing personal details. However, since these numbers belong to a gang of fraudsters, I am sharing the mobile numbers from which the gentleman received SMSs. The numbers are 8955902267, 8824903340, 6378536899, and 8955004793 and all are registered in Rajasthan. However, the user may not necessarily be present in Rajasthan. The gang may be happily using these numbers from any part of the country. (Note: You can block these numbers through a spam detection app or save all these numbers as Spam/Fraud SMS and then block the contact so that you do not receive any call or SMS from any of these numbers.)
Remember, your bank or any registered financial institute never sends any SMS nor makes any call from a mobile number. All financial institutions are mandated to use specific SMS headers registered with the telecom operator.
For example, VM-SBIINB is a registered and authorised SMS header of State Bank of India (SBI). However, the Bank may use other SMS headers while retaining its identity 'SBI' in the header like BV-SBIPSG, VM-SBIPSG, BZ-CBSSBI. 
The typical format and structure of the header with prefixes are as below:
XY - ABCDEF, where X denotes telecom service provider (TSP); Y denotes license service area (LSA) and ABCDEF is a header assigned to the principal entity or registrant. (Read: Finally, TRAI Shares Names of Telemarketers and Their Codes!) 
Man Loses Rs1 Lakh While Reserving Room in Pune Resort
The Mumbai Mirror reports that a 49-year old sales head of a company lost Rs1.08 lakh while trying to book online a room in a Pune-based resort. He saw a contact number of a resort on the web and when he dialled, the other person asked him to deposit Rs5,000 as registration charges for his booking. 
"Minutes later, the complainant received a call from the scamster and was instructed to transfer Rs18,000 as the money he was still not credited to the resort's bank account, which he did. The fraudster again called and asked for Rs42,588 twice. When the fraudster again demanded more, the complainant stopped attending the call, got the genuine contact number of the resort and realised that he was being duped," said the police.  
Bandra police told the newspaper that such frauds rise during the holiday season when a fraudster gets activated and comes out with schemes and discounts after stealing the photos of real resorts and posting them on social media with their contact numbers. 
Fake Car Insurance Policies at Discounted Rates
Delhi Police have busted a fake call centre that used to cheat people on the pretext of providing car insurance policies at discounted rates and arrested eight people in this connection. 
One person filed a complaint on the cyber portal ( ) of the ministry of home affairs (MHA), in which he stated that he received a call from a woman who claimed to be a car insurance agent and asked for a renewal of his car insurance. Falling for the lucrative offer, he transferred Rs8,500 online only to receive a fake insurance certificate for his vehicle. 
Police probed details of the beneficiary bank account and after scrutiny, it was revealed that the cheated amount was transferred to an account for which a fake address was given. Later, the accused's location was traced based on technical surveillance and scrutiny of several bank accounts. Police arrested one person from that location, who disclosed that he ran a fake call centre to cheat innocent people on the pretext of providing car insurance policies at cheaper rates.
Washing Reveals True Colour of the 'Prized' Horse
If you are wondering if all frauds are happening online or in digital mode only, here is news from the ground level for you. 
A man in Punjab was duped of Rs22.65 lakh by traders, who sold him a black horse, a prized colour in horses. 
Ramesh Kumar from Sunam town in Sangrur district bought the 'dyed black' Marwari breed stallion from three horse traders. However, when he gave a bath to the horse, the dye washed away, and the natural red coat of the horse surfaced.
As per the police, the accused had cheated eight other people by selling fake breed horses.
You may also want to read...