Gullible immigration applicants of Canada, the UK and the US have become targets of cybercriminals in Hyderabad, India. Hyderabad cybercrime police said it had received four complaints in the last few weeks, as fraudsters tricked innocent applicants with advertisements of immigration on social media and job portals.
Since Canada has been inviting immigration applications in thousands, cybercriminals are said to be exploiting them by just creating a login.
Mr P Ravikiran, Cybercrime Inspector of Police, was quoted by The Times of India as saying that tricksters are resorting to social media, job portals and OLX to entice applicants. Besides visa frauds for the US and the UK, several people have approached the police for having been hoodwinked by people promising immigration to Canada and Australia, he added. Ravikiran added that most cases of swindling have been reported by aspiring Canadian visa applicants.
To immigrate to Canada, the applicants, following the certificate verification, have to file an Expression of Interest by generating a login, fees for which are a few thousand rupees, he said. He added that thee tricksters create logins for applicants and when they check with the embassy, they find that their applications are in process. The swindlers then take lakhs of rupees from their guileless victims, said Ravikiran.
It is only when they do not receive the immigration documents, the applicants realise that they have been fleeced, he said.
In one instance, Duke Fuergunon, a Mumbai-based immigration consultant, cheated Hyderabad-based Dr K Rajani Devi. The criminal reportedly demanded that she deposit INR308, 000 in a bank account for visa stamping. After following his instructions, she realised that she had been taken for a ride.
Similarly, Dr Miacheal Henderson of London, a defrauder, tricked C Syam Prasad, a Kalyan Nagar resident. She had reportedly sent her CV through shine.com and deposited INR450, 000 in a bank account for obtaining a UK visa. But when she contacted the British High Commission, she too realised that she was cheated.
A US visa fraud case had to come to light in the same city in August 2017 when the fraudster conned J Shankarnath, a New Bhoiguda resident, by pocketing INR86, 000 from him. Shankarnath is said to have received a call where the person on the other end offered him a job as software technical field officer in Oklahoma City, US. He deposited the amount in the bank account that the accused had provided. The money was ostensibly for basic travel allowance, visa application fee, US cross-border permit, travel insurance and other documents. The victim deposited money in three banks only to become aware that wool had been pulled over his eyes.
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