At a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a heavy toll on the health and wealth of people, cyber fraudsters have started targetting people in need of precious blood for their near and dear ones under treatment at hospitals.
When one makes an appeal on social media for blood, especially of negative groups, the web thugs take advantage of the situation in conning the needy by promising its availability.
Recently, a girl from Odisha's Bhadrak district received call from an unknown person after she took to social media and urged for blood for his ailing brother. She was asked to pay Rs 2000 online. Even after making the payment, the unsuspecting girl never received the required blood for her brother.
"I was not in a position at that moment to think of anything else and sent the money immediately. I had also got the caller's number but it was switched off. I didn't even get the promised blood," said the girl who is one of the many victims trapped by such fraudsters.
Moreover, some blood donation organaisations are also reportedly getting fake calls. Such a fake call was recently received by a social activist who was told to pay Rs 6500 online by the caller who introduced himself as a doctor. Later, after suspecting it to be fake, he lodged police complaints in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack.
Mahepara Nikhat, a social activist, said that awareness campaigns will be launched at police stations across the State to save people from falling prey to such online fraudsters.
Bhubaneswar DCP Umashankar Das advised people not to believe in such fake calls and avoid online transactions with strangers. Besides, people should always refrain from sharing their personal details with strangers, he said.
State Health Minister Naba Das said, "I have already directed the ACS for a police investigation into the allegations and bring all the culprits to book. Stern action will be taken against those involved in the crime."