Hyderabad: Even educated are prey to online fraud schemes

Hyderabad: Neeraja, Himanshu, Rajashekar and Nandini are highly educated and in senior positions in their professions.

Though they belong to different academic and professional backgrounds, what’s common among them is they are all victims of cyber frauds. Irrespective of their job profile and educational background, they have fallen prey to cyber crooks, who approached them under the guise of bank managers or IT experts or in other forms.

Neeraja (35), hailing from Dilsukhnagar, is working for an MNC as level III manager.

A few days ago, she came into contact with a stranger on facebook, who pretended to be an NRI. Gradually, they developed friendship with her and later lured her with a marriage proposal. Later, he offered to send her valuable gifts in the form of gold and diamond jewellery.

A few days later, she got a call from the ‘Customs department’ which stated that there was a parcel in her name with prohibited products; and to release the parcel, she should pay various charges. Believing it to be a genuine call, she paid `15 lakh towards various charges.

Himanshu is an engineering graduate and was in search of jobs, when he received a mail offering him a job in an American-based MNC. Later, after a formal interview, the suspects informed him that he was selected and he was asked to pay Rs 1.5 lakh towards visa fees. Inquiries revealed that Himanshu fell into the trap of a Kolkata-based techie who used the money for his hair transplantation.

Rajashekar works for a leading BPO in the city. He initially paid around Rs 1 lakh to fraudsters. After this, he realised that he was cheated, and lodged a police complaint. While the investigation was on, he paid around Rs 40,000 to fraudsters after they called him under the pretext of seeking more amounts towards processing fee for his job.

Nandini, a 35-year-old nurse, also fell prey to a similar fraud when an unidentified person claiming to be an evangelist, whom she met over facebook, fleeced her of over Rs 10 lakh by way of promising her funds for charity. She fought with her family when they opposed her move to arrange the amount by selling the flat they were living.

In the same way, more than 200 professionals, academicians and techies have fallen prey to cyber frauds in the city across three Commissionerates — ie., Hyderabad, Cyberabad and Rachakonda.

(Names of all victims changed due to privacy reasons)

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