Facebook Friendship, Custom Charges, Matrimonial Frauds
This is a very common cyber fraud happening these days. In such crimes, the fraudster comes in contact with the
victim through Facebook or a matrimonial platform, etc. and develops a deep friendship/relationship very quickly.
Just like Sextortion frauds, in these crimes also, the fake profiles created by the criminals are designed to look
After chatting for a few days, there is an exchange of numbers. The numbers used by the fraudsters are mostly
VoIP numbers obtained through one of the several dozen apps/websites. The numbers show ISD Codes, thus giving the
impression that the caller is based in Europe or America. The fraudster, then, claims that he/she is sending a lot
of expensive gifts for the victim through courier, since he/she resides out of India. After a few days, the victim
gets a call from someone who claims to be from the Indian Customs department and says that the gifts include a lot
of foreign cash, jewellery, etc. and in order to claim that, the victim needs to pay Customs Charges, GST and the
Once the victim pays some money, they start asking for more on another pretext and in this way, they induce the
victim to deposit as much money as they can, in various bank accounts. Often, this fraud goes on for weeks and even
months at a stretch. During this time period, they also send the victim fake receipts of custom charges, photographs
of the so-called “gifts”, etc. Once the fraud is complete, they disconnect and switch off their mobile numbers.
In a variant of this crime, sometimes the fraudster claims to be a foreigner who tells the victim that he/she
will be coming to India to visit them. They also send the victim a photograph/screenshot of a fake airline ticket.
After a few days, the victim gets a call from someone claiming to be from the Indian Customs Department who tells
them that the person was being held by the customs until the requisite customs clearance fees is paid and then as
mentioned above, they induce the victim to deposit huge sums of money in various bank accounts.
To increase the credibility of their fake documents, the fraudsters create dummy websites of courier companies,
airline ticketing, etc. which, upon checking show status as per the convenience of the fraudsters.
1. Keep your personal information on Facebook and other social media Apps, private to the maximum extent possible. Fraudsters
recee through publicly available personal information to choose targets and attack strategy.
2. Never accept friend request from strangers or from people whom you don’t know in real life..
3. Don’t be tricked by ISD calling numbers. They can be easily generated through mobile App.
4. Never deposit any money on fraudster’s instructions, even if the amount is small. If deposited, they will manipulate your
desire to save the deposited funds to extract more money on various pretexts.
5. Cross-check with Customs Department, Airport authorities, Foreign Embassies, etc. to verify the bogus claims of the fraudsters.