Two Nigerian nationals are arrested in Goa in a breakthrough by the Goa Police busting an Online Love and Gift Scam. A number of similar cases have been reported from other parts of the country too, however, the scamster is yet to be arrested.
The Nigerian Scam has evolved over the years and I remember getting emails way back in 1996 offering untold riches in partnership. These evolved into lotteries, phishing, spear phishing whaling and so many more variants. This lover sending a gift scam invariably targets middle-aged women who are lonely and has been successful all over the world.
Anyone, and everyone, should be careful in blindly trusting someone who has become a friend online and has never come face to face, or in a video chat. There are many ways to verify a person and in today’s day and age even if you send an email or call the police station nearest to your “friends” location you can be sure of getting a response from the cops whether that person exists or not.
So,,, it’s better to be safe than to be sorry!.
The Goa Arrests
Goa police has arrested two Nigerians Obina and Najiofor Chukwuma Collins from Delhi. They were running a racket of making friends on Facebook and cheating people on pretext of sending costly gifts and dollars.
The police have seized 17 SIM Cards, 20 Mobile Phones, 7 data cards/Dongles
Look out for similar offences in your area involving the mobile phones, Sim cards and data cards recovered from the accused. The accused are remanded to police custody of Cyber Crime PS, Ribandar, Goa. If you have been a victim, or know anyone who was scammed, please reach out to Mr Muktesh Chander, IPS (DGP Goa)
The cops have a lot of information on hand which we cannot put up here – about the bank accounts, phones and SIM cards.
Similar Cases in Lucknow
Three cases in Lucknow in which ladies lost 62 lakhs, 38 lakhs, and 15 lakhs … All Nigerians and game started through Facebook friendships.
This lady paid Rs 7.4 lacs towards “customs duty” on getting a phone call from the “customs officer” to get her wedding gift released.
Modus Operandi of the Online Lover and Gift Scam.
The modus operandi of the Lover and Gift Scam is simply to befriend ladies on social media, get comfortable and intimate with them, promise marriage and security, then purportedly send a gift package supposedly containing expensive designer items.
The victim will receive a surprise phone call from a “customs officer” or “courier” who will inform the arrival of a gift package from the “friend”.
The victim is told that the package would be released only on payment of customs duty else it will be impounded / destroyed / returned to sender. In addition the recipient may also face some action for trying to import without license. The victim will get stressed and call the “friend” and is told that the “friend” wanted this to be a surprise, and since he/she is traveling the victim can pay the customs duty please. And that the “friend” will reimburse the money on reaching back.
Needless to say – once the money is paid is lost! No one – “friend”, “customs officer”, “courier” – all are not traceable.