Cyber Crimes

Herbal Oil Trading Frauds

In these frauds, a crucial component is the use of either LinkedIn or Facebook. In these crimes, the fraudsters create genuine looking profiles on LinkedIn and/or Facebook and then contact the victims claiming to be from some vaccine manufacturing company or a medicine company (even animal husbandry company) based in Ghana/Ethiopia/Nigeria, etc. They tell the victim that their company is in dire need for some Herbal Oil (Folinic Oil, etc.) or some other exotic commodity that is only found in India and is supplied by some company from North-East India.

They further induce the victim by telling him/her that if they can procure the product from that company, they will buy the same at approximately 3-4 times the price. The victim, seeing huge profit, contacts the fake Indian company which is also created by these fraudsters and strikes a deal for the said product. Initially, in order to gain trust of the victim, the fraudsters only ask the victim to purchase a small sample quantity from the said company (which is sent to the victim by the fraudsters themselves via courier) and show it to them. Once that is done and they approve of it, they ask the victim to purchase huge quantities of the product that costs several lakhs of rupees (even crores). Once the victim invests that kind of money buying some fake herbal oil or other similar product, they cut off all contact and switch off their phones. The money is transferred by the victim to several bank accounts provided by the fraudsters. In some cases, in order to gain trust of the victim, they even meet him initially and pay him some money in lieu of his investments.

Safety Precautions:

1. Do not chat with strangers over net. Fraudsters and scammers prowl on the internet looking for victims.

2. Verify the identity of the contact by calling the relevant organization directly – find them through an independent source such as a phone book or online search. Do not use the contact details provided in the message sent to you.

3. Check credentials of foreign entities through the concerned Embassies and High Commissions, Consulates, etc.

4. Do an internet search using the names or exact wording of the letter/email to check for any references to a scam – many scams can be identified this way.

5. If you think it’s a scam, don't respond — scammers will use a personal touch to play on your emotions to get what they want.

6. Remember there are no get-rich-quick schemes: if it sounds too good to be true it probably is a trap.

7. Limit what people can learn about you through searching on net. The fraudsters collect all possible information from online sources before launching a fraud attack.

  • How to make a complaint:

    1. Brief facts of the complaint explaining how to come in contect with the alleged person/website and subsequent fraud

    2. Take a screenshot of the alleged website wherein URL of the said website is clearly visible

    3. Note: Take full header only from the first receiver’s email account (not from the forwarded ones).

    4. Collect documentary evidence (e.g. screenshots, bank transaction statements, etc.)

    5. Lodge a complaint in your nearest Police Station describing complete incidence along with the above mentioned documents.

    6. Save the soft copy of all above mentioned documents in soft form and provide them to the Investigating Officer on a CD-R and also give hard copy.