DHL Impersonation Scams: Cybercriminals Exploit Trusted Name, Swindle Lakhs

In a disturbing trend, Cybercrooks, who’d invoke the name of ‘FedEx’ to threaten people that consignments in their names have drugs, are now using the name of logistics major DH to cheat the gullible and extort money. Over half a dozen cases of such deceit have surfaced in the city since early February, with two recent incidents reported at the East CEN police station.

One victim, a software engineer, fell prey to these fraudsters and lost a staggering Rs 34.5 lakh, while an architect lost Rs 9 lakh in a similar scheme. Mahira (name changed), a 41-year-old resident of Diamond District on HAL Airport Road, recounted her harrowing experience on March 17. She received a call from an unknown number at 8:12 am, purportedly from a DHL executive based in Mumbai. After confirming her identity details, Mahira was informed that a parcel addressed to her was being illicitly dispatched to Shanghai, allegedly containing a laptop, 4kg of narcotics, and 15 passports.

The caller, posing as a DHL representative, instructed Mahira to stay on the line until she was connected to the Andheri East police station in Mumbai. Subsequently, a person identifying himself as Rajesh Pradan, DCP of the crime branch, initiated a virtual interrogation via Skype, presenting what appeared to be official credentials against the backdrop of a police station. Exploiting Mahira’s fear, Pradan coerced her into believing that her bank account, linked to her Aadhaar card, was compromised and needed verification. In a panic, Mahira was persuaded to transfer her entire account balance, totaling Rs 34.5 lakh, to supposed government notary accounts provided by the fraudster.

Similarly, Sadia (name changed), a 37-year-old architect from CV Raman Nagar, was ensnared in this scheme on February 15, succumbing to the same fabricated parcel narrative and transferring Rs 9 lakh to the fraudsters.

Both victims endured prolonged digital captivity, with Mahira subjected to nine hours of continuous call monitoring and Sadia confined to his home for four hours. Eventually, Mahira lodged a police complaint on March 19, followed by Sadia’s complaint on February 15.

Law enforcement officials emphasize the importance of immediate disconnection from suspicious calls and prompt reporting to the nearest police station or helplines such as 112 (police helpline) and 1930 (cyber helpline) to thwart such scams.

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