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18 May 2018

Darjeeling residents fall victim to postal parcel scam

Amitava Banerjee | MP | 17-05-2018| DARJEELING: A racket has spread its tentacles in Darjeeling whereby people are being sent parcels with stones inside which they are being duped into buying (cash on delivery). Many have already fallen victim to the fraud while some unclaimed packages are still there at the Darjeeling General Post Office.
Usually a person first receives a phone call where the caller says that the person has won a high-end cell phone in a lucky draw, which can be had against paying a nominal amount through cash on delivery system.
"Around 10 days ago, I had received a call from a lady introducing herself as Kavya. She stated that I had won a high-end cell phone costing around Rs. 40,000.
Then I was asked for my address. I was reluctant and told her that I would spend any money on it. She maintained that I would have to pay a nominal amount after having received the cell-phone. I then proceeded to give her my address," stated Bishal Rai, a resident.
On Thursday, Rai received a call from the General Post Office, Darjeeling stating that a parcel has arrived in his name and that he would have to pay Rs. 3500 in order to take the delivery home.
Following the call from the post office, Rai went and asked them to show the parcel. He was informed that if he opened it, he would have to pay the amount mentioned.
However, the post office authorities warned him against it as in the recent past, many have been duped. People had found stones inside
the parcels. On contacting Raju Singh, the Post Master of the Darjeeling General Post Office, he stated that the Post Office merely delivers whatever parcels arrive and are not aware or responsible for the contents. "However, people should be aware of fake companies and advertisements. Many such packages had come to the post office and remained undelivered, while many others had chosen to take it back home after paying under the Cash on Delivery scheme," added the post master.
He added that the parcels had different senders' name. Some of them also had fake company names and addresses. Rai's parcel was from Delhi. He tried to call back on the number but the number was not available.
A person who had received a similar phone call and had landed up paying Rs 6000.

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