A scam and a half: imagined package, fake FedEx employees & fake… police officers!

Watch out! Fraudsters posing as FedEx employees and police officers could be scamming you – including via video-link.

Fake police officers and an alleged FedEx package gone astray

It’s often pleasant receiving a delivery notification text or call, right? But be careful – there are hoaxes out there!

It’s undeniable that scams pose a serious threat to our personal data – especially when they fool innocent victims by appearing to involve legitimate individuals or companies – or police forces! In this article, we look at a recent FedEx / Mumbai Police fraud, wherein scammers tried to extract highly confidential information from victims through fraudulent tactics.

A heart-breaking story with a happy ending

A heart-breaking story with a happy ending (Source)

A scam and a half

A LinkedIn user recently shared his experience of how he was targeted by scammers. According to his post, scammers pretending to be from both FedEx and Mumbai police coordinated phone and video calls to try and scam him.

The victim received a call supposedly from FedEx, stating that a parcel booked from Mumbai to Canada in his name had been returned. The fake FedEx employee claimed that the victim is the sender and disclosed details about the recipient in Canada as well as their FedEx docket number and contact information. The victim insisted that he hadn’t booked any such parcel, and the scammers threatened him by saying someone must have forged his information, and that the parcel contained highly sensitive and confidential information (passports, SIM cards and ATM cards), and that someone might be using his identity to perpetrate terrorist activities.

So what happened next?

Cybercriminals will always go the extra mile to obtain your private information and put you at risk, and that was the case in this tale too.

The attackers told the victim to report to the Mumbai crime branch and visit Colaba police station. Despite being told the victim lives in Gurgaon, the attackers insisted he filed a “First Information Report” (FIR) in Mumbai and promised to help. Next, they informed the victim that they’re transferring the call to the Mumbai crime branch. The “official” there enquired as to the situation and provided a police station number (which appears legitimate). He was then told to be prepared – with his original Aadhar Card and Pan Card – for a video call.

The victim immediately sought help from his employers, who informed him it was a scam. They reached out to the police station (this time the right one), which informed them that there have been many instances like these and that this is an attempt at fraud. Simultaneously, the victim received a video call from a person dressed as a police officer who asked for his Aadhar and Pan card!

Ding-dong! A (fake) police officer is calling you!

Ding-dong! A (fake) police officer is calling you! (Source)

The attackers repeatedly approached the victim via video calls with the hope of learning his identity and details of his confidential documents.

This isn’t the first time scammers have built complex chains pretending to be delivery services and police officials. Recently, another Twitter user shared her story of how she was scammed in a similar way.

How to protect yourself?

Here are some tips to help you avoid falling victim to this kind of scam:

  • If you’re expecting a package, be sure to make a note of the tracking code and check its status on the official website yourself.
  • Always think twice before picking up any call or responding to any text from an unidentified number or unknown area code.
  • Never click on spam links received via SMS/e-mail or reveal your UPI PIN, UPI ID, or any bank details over the phone.
  • Equip all devices with a reliable antivirus with anti-phishing and anti-fraud protection, which will warn you of any danger in good time.