NEW YORK – The telephone lines at the Embassy of India in Washington D.C. have been spoofed by fraudsters to cheat people for money, according to a PTI report.
The Embassy of India has informed the U.S. government about the incident and has launched an internal investigation itself while advises Indian Americans to not fall into such traps.
It also issued a rare public advisory on such fraud calls as they have not only cheated people with money but also has brought the Embassy of India into a bad light.
“These fraudsters either seek personal information like credit card details etc. or try to extort money from Indian nationals by inter alia claiming that there are errors in their passports, visa forms, immigration forms etc. which could be rectified by paying money, and at the same time warning that the so called errors, if not rectified, could result in deportation of the individual to India or their imprisonment in USA,” the Indian Embassy said in its advisory.
The incident was reported by Indian nationals living in the U.S. and visa applicants, who were receiving these calls and showed up on their phone as embassy telephone numbers or even as someone from the embassy, reported PTI.
The Embassy of India has already started collecting information from the public, including details of the Western Union account number or bank account details where the money was transferred.
According to its website, the Embassy of India has advised “members of the public not to entertain any suspicious telephone calls made in the name of Embassy of India. They are also advised not to reveal any personal information or transfer any money in response to such calls. They may bring such matters to the notice of the Embassy at the email ID.”
This is the first time the Embassy of India has been targeted for such a crime. The U.S. government has received reports from the embassies of other nations in the past.