Online Scam Alert: CBI seizes $930,000 in cryptocurrency in Ahmedabad! Know 7 tips to stay safe

Beware of online scams! CBI has seized $930,000 in cryptocurrency from a trickster who posed as an Amazon official to dupe US citizens.

| Updated on: Oct 22 2023, 12:31 IST
BEWARE! Here is how NOT to check your PF balance; man loses Rs. 1.23 lakh in scam
Online scam
1/7 In a shocking turn of events, when a man was looking to check his PF balance online, he was caught by fraudsters and lost Rs. 1.23 lakh! (Reuters)
Online scam
2/7 This is how he lost money in this PF balance scam. He was searching for the EPOFO phone number on the Internet, but came across a fake phone number, according to Free Press Journal. He called it and the person there convinced him to download an app that provided the fraudster with remote access to his gadget. He also shared the code for making a payment. Before, the innocent man knew what happened, he had lost the whopping amount of Rs. 1.23 lakh! (Pixabay)
Online scam
3/7 In short, do not check PF balance by searching online and clicking on random links or talking to anyone. Just remember, EPFO will never ask you to make any payment or download any app or even ask you for any payment code or OTP. So, if you want to know how to check PF balance online, we explain it here. (HT_PRINT)
Online scam
4/7 How to check PF balance Via UMANG App - For checking PF Balance via UMANG App, you will first have to download the app and then log in by entering your UAN and OTP (one-time password) to check the PF account balance. (UMANG Twitter)
Online scam
5/7 How to check PF balance Via Text Message – EPFO members whose UANs are registered with EPFO can check their PF balance by sending a text message (SMS) to 7738299899 by typing 'EPFOHO UAN ENG' using your registered mobile number with the UAN (Universal Account Number). It can be noted that the last three digits of the message represents the language in which you want to receive the message. (Pixabay)
Online scam
6/7 How to check PF balance Via Missed Call – Members also have the option of checking the PF balance via call. Registered users can give a missed call to 011-22901406 from their UAN registered mobile number after which they will receive an SMS with details of the PF account balance. (Unsplash)
Online scam
7/7 How to check PF balance Via EPFO website - Visit the EPFO portal and click on the ‘For Employees’ option under the ‘Our Services’ dropdown menu. Click on 'Member Passbook' and enter your UAN and password. Once you do so you will be able to see your passbook. It can be noted that people who have worked in more than one organisation will have different member IDs to choose from. (MINT_PRINT)
Online scam
icon View all Images
CBI seizes $930,000 in cryptocurrency from online fraudster in Ahmedabad online scam case. (Pexels)

In a recent case of online fraud, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has taken action against a man from Ahmedabad who swindled a US citizen by pretending to be a senior executive from a big company's fraud department. It is alleged that Ramavat Shaishav used fake identities to deceive the victim to part with their cryptocurrency.

Based on information from the United States' Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the CBI has started an investigation against Shaishav. He posed as "James Carlson" from Amazon's fraud department and contacted the US citizen over the phone, PTI reported.

We are now on WhatsApp. Click to join.

Cryptocurrency Seized

When the CBI conducted searches, they discovered that Shaishav had 28 Bitcoin, 55 Ethereum, 25,572 Ripple, and 77 USDT in his e-wallet. These cryptocurrencies were seized and transferred to the government's wallet.

Shaishav convinced the victim that there were fraudulent activities happening on his Amazon account, and that even his social security number was being used to create fake accounts on the e-commerce platform. To make the victim believe him, Shaishav told the victim to withdraw money from his bank accounts and convert it into Bitcoin using a RockitCoin ATM Wallet. He even provided a QR code, falsely claiming it was linked to the US Treasury.

In order to gain the victim's trust, Shaishav sent a fake letter dated September 20, 2022, supposedly issued by the US' Federal Trade Commission.

Financial Loss for the Victim

As a result of this manipulation, the victim withdrew $130,000 from his bank accounts on various dates between August 30, 2022, and September 9, 2022. He then deposited this money into the Bitcoin address provided by Shaishav, who misappropriated the funds.

The CBI searches at Shaishav's residence in Ahmedabad led to the recovery of cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, USDT, etc.) worth approximately $939,000 from his digital wallets. CBI also found other incriminating evidence.

During the investigation, it was revealed that two individuals in Ahmedabad were involved as accomplices of Shaishav. The CBI also searched their premises and seized mobile phones, laptops with incriminating material, and other digital devices.

Ways to Prevent Such Frauds: How to Stay Safe

1. Be cautious of unsolicited calls: If someone you don't know contacts you claiming to be from a reputable company or even from the government, be wary and don't share personal or financial information.

2. Verify identities: Ask for official identification and contact details, and independently verify the person's identity if you have any doubts.

3. Don't rush: Scammers often pressure victims into making quick decisions. Take your time to think things through and verify the information.

4. Don't share sensitive information: Never give out personal information like social security number or financial details to unknown individuals.

5. Be skeptical of unsolicited emails or letters: Check the legitimacy of communication from official organizations independently.

6. Report suspicious activity: If you suspect fraud, report it to your local law enforcement agency or cybercrime authorities.

7. Educate yourself: Stay informed about common fraud tactics to better protect yourself from online scams.

Follow HT Tech for the latest tech news and reviews , also keep up with us on Whatsapp channel,Twitter, Facebook, Google News, and Instagram. For our latest videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel.

First Published Date: 22 Oct, 12:31 IST