Some days are just as complicated than they can get. The irony is that you had no control of the events on that day; they were situations created by someone else; may be because they are just so jobless or insecure about themselves. I thought of documenting that event and my experience with the situation and how it was handled. This post is not going to bore you to death but instead educate you on life and this wonderful technique of Social Engineering that can get you into a Cyber Crime and make you lose your money. In one word this post is about how greed can lure you to do stupid things including trusting strangers on the internet!
It was one of those regular mornings when I just downed my first cuppa of coffee. I felt the air around me change; not good it wasn't my spidey sense or my gutt feeling but something else. Something so rotten as a corpse lying next to you on your bed. You would turn around and may be like that scene in the movie called the God Father find the head of a horse. Instead it was my partner from earth crying tears wanting to confess something to me but was frightened of my anger and wrath. I did something stupid she cried; something I regret now but I thought I should tell you about it. I asked is it Drugs?, Sleeping with another man? Embezzlement? OR did you mess with the Taliban, or even worse the Government?
She was alien to the accusitions I just imposed; meaning that it was worse than that!
It was time to build her confidence in sharing what she had done; post which I could decide what kind of wrath or anger I can bestow. So I told her that I was her husband and she could trust in me like that snake in the animated movie "The Jungle Book"
Meanwhile I was going through Technical hell with my Digital Devices; the iPhone and my DeskTop running Windows 10. The iPhone running IOS 16.3.1 was acting strange with automations I created in the ShortCuts app. The automation that have a SpeakText action and that use the Siri voice are sounding right when running the automation but when the automation is triggered, the Siri voice is choppy and sometimes not even delivering what text it was to speak. The DeskTop suddenly wouldn't boot up; it took me 2 days for an Engineer to tell me that the mother board had blown; just the other day it was working fine! Well got that replaced for INR 3500 and the Windows 10 DeskTop is up and running like before but with new complications. The Sleep option under Power and Sleep Settings is missing. I am addressing it with the Microsoft support team as I write this blog; not in real time stupid! The iPhone still needs further investigation from apples Engineering team; who are probably sitting in a Pod shaking it to Shakira...
Coming back to what the woman had done; she crying spills the beans on me. She had made a new friend on Facebook; a Doctor from the United Kingdom. They became such good friends that they started exchanging notes on their period cycles. In this exchange of notes; my not so techie wife gave him her number and the address to our house. One fine morning; the morning I woke up to the head of the horse; he says that he is sending a gift to her by Courier. This gift will have the following items:
1. iPhone 13 PRO
2. Perfume Gift Set
4. 45,000 British Pounds!
This friend is such a gem; as he is chatting with my wife on what app. he sends her the receipt of the package he is sending every item is listed except the 45,000 BP. This is because he does not want to declare it to the shipping company fearing that they will steal the money. On further investigation; we were told that we will need to pay in INR to receive the parcel from the Indian Custom Department. This is from where the panic started and the beans on this scam were spilled. If we reject the package, we will have to pay for it to be shipped back. Inconclusion; pay to receive the package or pay to reject and return the package. I flushed the horses head down the toilet as this is technically called Social Engineering, where you are tempted in receiving the parcel of high value for an amount that is negligible as compared to the price of the items.
We decided to call this good friend on what app. and I was not surprised to hear a voice that was so not British; the voice was a give away to the scam and yes the other clues that we had to pay to receive the parcel. In the truth there is no parcel being sent; just a fake receipt of the parcel being shipped. This good friend was anything but British; for a lack of my understanding of races this chap was Nigerian. Sometime you too would have received messages from Nigerian princesses about their husband dying and they leaving them with a wad of cash they need to push to a account so that they can legalise it etc. Sorry, I got emails only about Penis Enlargement pills; don't know how they knew!
The next day we waited and to our surprise there was a call from a mobile number; on my wifes phone; a lady claiming to be a Customs Officer at the airport. She wasn't from the same city but very confidently told us about the parcel and asking for the payment to clear it. We told her that we do not wish to accept the parcel; to which she replied you will then have to send it back and for that we would also need to pay. We told her sorry, but we are not interested in the parcel or what you wish to do with it; to which she said OK then, I will have to report this parcel to the police and there will be a legal enquiry. I stood calm as I heard this threat and replied sure I am OK with that. Right after that call I searched for the Customs Office number in my city. I had to do this because my wife was still in a panic about the legal enquiry. We spoke to an officer from the department and he caught the drift and patiently explained that all this is a fraud; no one from customs will call you from their mobile number. Customs does not ask you money to claim a parcel and if it is under a suspected item; only then they will call you and if any legal fees are to be collected they have a system in place. He adviced that we block all the numbers and don't entertain any calls from such fraudulent scammers.
My wife got her first lesson of Social Engineering and me felt like a proud Cyber Citizen who knows his scams!
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