Thursday, November 2, 2023



Le Drian impersonator on Skype

Remember those enterprising French/Israeli fraudsters who constructed a counterfeit government ministry office, complete with bogus Foreign Minister impersonator, and used the scam to defraud victims out of millions of Euros? We covered that in an article entitled Identity of Principal Player in Massive Fraud Involving the Impersonation of the Foreign Minister of France Remains a Mystery (May 8, 2019). Well, some criminals in India were successful in pulling off a similar scam. They created what appeared to be a genuine police station, complete with actors posing as sworn, and uniformed, officers and contacted a victim with a fantastic tale of how they suspected her of using her account for money laundering. Think Mission Impossible scenes that you have seen in some of your favorite motion pictures.

Next, they convinced the victim to "temporarily" transfer a large amount of her money into their control. of course, they claimed that it was only until they could prove her innocence. They then disappear; she only learns of the deception when, contacting the real authorities, she finds out the truth. If you ask why she fell for the fraud, remember that in many countries, tax evasion is the rule, rather than the exception, and we have to assume that the victim may have been one of those who engage in that disreputable practice, and therefore, wanted most of all to not have problems with the authorities. While that fact was not in the details, the location of the scam was India.

It does illustrate a valid point: at no time should anyone in compliance ever accept a video communication from regulators, law enforcement, or government, without verifying its bona fides through other means, meaning telephone or in-person contact, unless you actually know the person on the other end of that Skype or other video, call. Even then, look at the photo above. Mission Impossible anyone? 

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