Fraudsters are making a full use of the Covid crisis situation by scamming the people in the name of healthcare. Below is the one such case as the victim narrates his story about how he got scammed.
Jayank Jain, a Gurugram-based IT professional had been searching for oxygen cylinders for his Covid-19 positive friend who has been admitted to a local hospital. Mayank Jain has been working from his hometown Jaipur in Rajasthan since the onset of the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
In order to find leads on oxygen resources for his friend, he joined a WhatsApp group where his friends had been sharing leads to help him in this crisis.
He had received a quote of Rs 27,500 for a 50 kg cylinder from one of the oxygen suppliers. He had received his contact details on the WhatsApp group. Mayank Jain contacted the supplier who refused to entertain his request if he wasn't paid in advance.
"I told him that I would pay the cash on delivery because I sensed a possible fraud," Mayank Jain told India Today TV.
However, on Friday, things changed when he was told that his friend's Oxygen Saturation (SpO2) had dropped down to 80, and the temporary oxygen arranged by the local hospital was about to finish. He had no other option but to take the risk. He made an advanced payment of Rs 5,000 and requested the suppliers to process his order.
Mayank Jain was told that due to high demand [for the oxygen cylinders], he must pay at least half the price in advance, in order to initiate the order.
"Then I transferred another 9,000 rupees to the account provided by them and asked them to send the cylinder right away," he said. The vendor then asked Mayank Jain to send details of the patient such as his name, address, Aadhaar details, attendant's contact and his Aadhaar details, which were immediately provided by him.
A few minutes later, Mayank was informed by the vendor that they had only one cylinder left and, to get it for his friend, he must make the full payment. Sensing an imminent fraud, Mayank disconnected the call but relented later.
"I sensed the risk but transferred the rest of the amount (Rs 13,500) thinking that my friend might have a shot at receiving the help and pleaded with them to not compromise my friend's life for money and they asked me to trust them," he explained.
After some time, when he enquired to check the status of the oxygen cylinder delivery, Mayank was told to pay an additional Rs 15,000. Sure that it was a scam, Mayank asked them to refund the money immediately, but all his attempts went in vain. He contacted the Delhi Police cyber helpline number but later had to register a complaint with the Rajasthan Police due to jurisdiction issues.
Mayank Jain is one of the many victims who have recently been duped by the "Covid SOS Scammers" targeting thousands of people who are using social media posts to seek help in these desperate times.