Kolkata: Senior citizen orders ‘Covid’ device, gets shoes in online fraud – Times of India

Kolkata News
KOLKATA: An elderly south Kolkata resident, who ordered an oxygen concentrator but received shoes instead, has become the latest victim of a wave of crime that has swamped the city since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Seventy-year-old Dinesh Chandra Das, a resident of Sri Colony in the Regent Estate Area, had wanted to buy an oxygen concentrator — a medical device that helps people who have low blood oxygen levels — for quite some time, as he is an asthma patient. Since the start of the pandemic, he finally decided to order one after his wife, too, started showing similar symptoms of asthma. He chose a good model from a reputable online retailer during a sale day.

His first thought that something might be wrong at the time of delivery on July 27, when he thought that the red package he was getting looked “too small” for an oxygen concentrator. But the delivery agent allegedly did not listen to any of his questions. “He just left in a hurry after collecting the OTP details,” Das later wrote in his police complaint.
Opening the package, his fears came true: it contained three new pairs of branded shoes. Police said Das, a former senior state government officer who retired from the land reforms department, and his wife, also a retired senior government official, told them that he had ordered the product — which cost Rs 55,059 — after thoroughly researching it online from his son’s phone. “He said he had selected one of the best brands,” said an officer of Netaji Nagar police station, where he lodged the FIR. He told the cops that he raised a complaint with the etailer’s complaints division, but it wasn’t taken seriously by them. Instead, they allegedly attempted to shift the blame to him, he complained. “It was after he found that all avenues to retrieve his money were shut that he came to us,” said an investigating officer. “We still have a few doubts, but we will record the statement of the delivery boy and warehouse officials one by one,” he added.
“There are three possibilities here,” the officer said. “One, the tag number of the item got mixed up at a warehouse; two, the delivery boy deliberately delivered the wrong consignment; three, the site from which this order was placed was not genuine but a fake site, designed to mimic the etailer giant’s website. We have registered a case of cheating and criminal conspiracy in this regard and named the company and the delivery boy as the primary accused. There was a clause of no return with the item, the family claims.”
The cops said Das was one of the many victims of cyber-shopping fraud since the pandemic broke. “They did not want to risk going out and thus ordered it online. They said they were not new to online shopping, and that they have been ordering items online for a long time now,” said an officer.
According to initial estimates, there has been a 15% rise in cyber-fraud in June-July, compared with March, when the lockdown began. And the graph keeps rising through August. “We are getting multiple cases each week across all police stations,” said Murlidhar Sharma, joint CP (crime).
“We have noticed that cyber fraudsters have created fake websites that resemble those of genuine shops, top-end restaurants and home delivery services to lure people,” an official said. Since the easing of lockdown restrictions, there has also been an increase in banking fraud, with cyber-criminals targeting citizens with fake online bookings, free coronavirus tests and foreign job offers. Other online scams involve lotteries, no-interest loans and revival of insurance policies,” said an anti-bank-fraud officer.
Das refused to elaborate on their complaint, saying the details were with cops. “We have lodged the necessary complaint with police and cancelled our membership with the e-commerce site,” he said.

Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolkata/senior-citizen-orders-covid-device-gets-shoes-in-online-fraud/articleshow/77602229.cms