‘Your FedEx Package Has Been Blocked…Press 1’- Hundreds Of Indians Are Losing Money To This Scam

With the increase in online scams across India, one particular category of scams that has picked up recently is the FedEx courier scam. Bengaluru city police reportedly had registered 335 cyber fraud cases related to the FedEx courier scam in 2023. And what’s surprising is that people well-versed with the internet are getting scammed. 

The FedEx courier scam starts with an IVR phone call from an unknown number that claims, “Your Fedex Package Has Been Blocked…Press 1”. Anyone who gets lured by the FedEx package and continues with the phone call gets scammed by paying lakhs in the form of “fines”. According to a report by The Indian Express, a 70-year-old journalist in Bengaluru recently fell for this scam and lost ₹1.20 crore. 

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What is the FedEx courier scam

What starts as an IVR call quickly translates to a WhatsApp call. The scammers impersonate airport officials and claim that the call is from a so-called FedEx courier office to grab the attention of the victim. The caller then claims that a particular parcel belonging to the victim has been blocked at the airport as the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has found drugs in the package having the name of the victim. In order to make the call legit, 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 stating that a case has been registered at a nearby police station. Once the scammer hooks the victim, it’s all about pressuring them to pay up in the form of bribes and ‘fines’.

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The victims, fearing the repercussions of a police case and how a bogus case could damage their image in society, transfer money to scammers. Once the first payment is made, it is all about harassing and blackmailing the victims further to drain their bank accounts. 

Most scammers get hold of Aadhaar numbers and personal documents at local cyber cafes, hotels, government offices and other public spots. The scammers then target senior citizens, women and people they consider as gullible and someone who can be harassed to pay. 

While the modus operandi may get tweaked by the scammer depending on their choice of the victim, the core objective is about mostly similar.

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How to avoid FedEx courier scam

Now that you know about the FedEx courier scam, simply disconnect the call and block the number if someone talks about a courier. Every courier comes with a tracking number which can be verified online. If someone has indeed sent a courier in your name then you would already be knowing about it. Finally, this is not how NCB or any law enforcement agency work and to add to that, courier companies have different protocols to follow and these scammers are simply banking on the lack of awareness to dupe citizens. 

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