Social Media scam – over 1.8 million rupees taken from five people

Lahiru Fernando

COLOMBO (News 1st) – The Computer Emergency Readiness Team (CERT) has revealed information of a new scam that is taking place through social media.

CERT says that they have received complaints from five individuals, claiming that they have been scammed. Between these five individuals, the fraudsters have scammed over Rs. 1.8 million.

How does it happen?

The victims are contacted through social media, initially pretending to be friendly. They are then tricked into sending money to pay “customs duties” for a “valuable gift item” they’ve sent the victim. Needless to say, the victims never get their said “gift”. These fraudsters keep their victims away from the Customs Department by scaring them out of it. They (scammers) then offer to do it for the victims and request for money to get the gifts released.

CERT requests victims of these scams to make a complaint with the Police and inform the bank they deposited money to.

The common factor

All of the reported victims thus far have been females, around 50-60 years of age, who are either widowed or living with their children. Out of the five reported cases, only one is married while others are either unmarried or widowed.

CERT’s Roshan Chandragupta (Principal Information Security Engineer) requests the public to be aware of such incidents.