'Your FedEx Package Blocked… Press 1' – Hundreds of Indians Lose Money in This Scam

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With the rise of online scams across India, FedEx Courier Scam is a unique category of recent scams. Bengaluru city police registered 335 cyber fraud cases related to FedEx courier scam in 2023. And the surprising thing is that people who are familiar with the Internet are getting scammed.

The FedEx courier scam starts with an IVR phone call from an unknown number that says “Your FedEx package is blocked…press 1”. Anyone lured by a FedEx package and continuing the phone call could be duped into paying millions in “fines.” According to The Indian Express, a 70-year-old journalist in Bengaluru recently fell for this scam and lost. 1.20 crores.

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What is a FedEx Courier Scam?

What starts as an IVR call quickly translates into a WhatsApp call. Scammers impersonate airport officials and claim to call a so-called FedEx courier office to get the victim's attention. The caller stated that a particular parcel belonging to the victim was blocked at the airport as the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) found drugs in a package bearing the victim's name. To make the call legitimate, the scammers share the victim's Aadhaar card number, address and other personal details. Pretending to forward the call to NCB officials, the scammers threaten the victim by claiming to register a case at the nearest police station. Once the scammer has hooked the victim, forcing them to pay in the form of bribes and 'fines'.

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Victims, fearing the consequences of a police case and how a bogus case will tarnish their image in society, transfer money to fraudsters. After making the first payment, victims are harassed and blackmailed into draining their bank accounts.

Many scammers use Aadhaar numbers and personal documents at local cyber cafes, hotels, government offices and other public spots. Scammers target senior citizens, women and people they feel are being duped and bullied into paying.

While the modus operandi may be adjusted by the scammer depending on the victim's choice, the main objective remains almost the same.

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How to Avoid FedEx Courier Scam

Now you know about the FedEx Courier Scam, disconnect the call and block the number if anyone talks about the courier. Each courier comes with a tracking number that can be verified online. If someone had actually sent a courier in your name, you would have known about it already. Finally, this is not the way NCB or any law enforcement agency works and to add to that, courier companies have different protocols to follow and these scammers are banking on lack of awareness to dupe citizens.

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