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CBIC campaign against frauds committed in name of Indian Customs, urges ublic to discern the modus operandi of fraudsters

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New Delhi | June 16, 2024 4:41:32 PM IST
The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) launched a multi-modal awareness campaign against frauds committed in the name of Indian Customs and urged the public to discern the modus operandi of fraudsters, protect their information, verify antecedents of the caller and report such acts by staying alert.

According to a press release by the Ministry of Finance, reports from various news portals and social media platforms have highlighted a disturbing trend where fraudsters are duping the public into paying money under the false pretence of avoiding legal penalties.

These scams primarily involve digital means such as phone calls and SMS, with fraudsters attempting to extract money by instilling fear of immediate penal action.

The CBIC has embarked on an awareness campaign that includes a series of newspaper advertisements aimed at reaching a broad audience with vital information about these scams.

In addition, the board is sending out mass SMS and email alerts to notify individuals about the modus operandi of fraudsters and how to guard against these schemes.

Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are also being used to disseminate awareness messages and engage with the public on this critical issue.

Furthermore, CBIC field formations across the country are conducting public awareness campaigns in coordination with local administrations and trade bodies.

These efforts are designed to educate people at the grassroots level, ensuring that the message reaches all corners of the community.

To help individuals protect themselves from becoming victims of these scams, the CBIC advises several key measures.

Firstly, the public is urged to discern that Indian Customs officers will never contact individuals via phone, SMS, or email to demand payment of duties into private accounts.

If contacted by someone claiming to be from Customs and requesting payment, individuals should disconnect the call and disregard the message.

The CBIC also emphasizes the importance of protecting personal information. Citizens should never share sensitive details such as passwords, CVV numbers, or Aadhar information with unknown entities, read the press release.

Moreover, they should refrain from sending money to unknown individuals or organisations without verifying their identity and legitimacy.

Verification is another crucial step. All official communications from Indian Customs include a Document Identification Number (DIN), which can be verified on the CBIC's official website.

This measure helps ensure that individuals can confirm the authenticity of any communications they receive from Customs.

In addition to these steps, the CBIC encourages the public to report any suspected fraud.

Cases can be reported to the dedicated cybercrime portal at cybercrime.gov.in or by calling the helpline number 1930. Prompt reporting of suspicious activities can help authorities take swift action and prevent further instances of fraud, read the press release.

The CBIC has identified several common tactics employed by fraudsters. One prevalent method involves fake calls or SMS messages from individuals posing as courier officials or Customs staff.

These messages claim that a package or parcel has been held by Customs and requires payment of duties or taxes for release.

Another tactic involves pressure tactics where fraudsters impersonate officials from Customs, police, or the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

They demand payment for the release of packages purportedly containing goods received from abroad, threatening legal action if payments are not made.

Fraudsters may also inform victims that their packages contain illegal items such as drugs or contraband and have been seized by Customs.

They then demand money to resolve the issue, threatening fines or legal consequences if payments are not made promptly. (ANI)

 
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