Mumbai

Fake websites offer ‘lockdown discounts’ on Mont Blanc pens

Manufacturer notifies police of scam

The ongoing lockdown seems to be bringing out the creativity of cyber scamsters in full force. The Mahararashtra Cyber division has issued an advisory, warning citizens against several websites claiming to sell premium Mont Blanc pens at throwaway prices on “lockdown discounts”.

Texts, social media posts

According to cyber officials, the manufacturer of the pens brought the scam to their attention. Apart from setting up several websites in the manufacturer’s name, the fraudsters have also been sending text messages and social media posts to attract potential victims.

“The perpetrators have been sending a large number of messages and posts claiming that the company’s international products, particularly fountain pens, are being sold at discounts. They are encouraging people to buy these products online. The messages are accompanied by URLs of fake websites in the name of Mont Blanc,” said Superintendent of Police Balsing Rajput, Maharashtra Cyber.

An advisory issued by the Maharashtra Cyber division on Thursday lists montblancindia.co, montblancsindia.com, montblancindias.com and montblancindia.org as the fake websites. The sites carry pictures of authentic Mont Blanc products.

Tracing scamsters

Officers said they have started the process to take down the websites, and are trying to trace the perpetrators using their digital footprint, such as the IP address of the websites used.

“Any victims who have lost money through the scam can register an online complaint or file one at the nearest police station. Customers are advised to only buy the pens through Tata Cliq, which is the authorised dealer for the pens,” the advisory states.

Since the start of the lockdown, the cyber division has registered 404 cases, of which 20 are non-cognisable complaints. Propagating objectionable content on WhatsApp tops the list with 170 cases, followed by 161 similar offences through Facebook, 18 on Tiktok, seven on Twitter, and four on Instagram. The police have so far taken down 102 such posts.

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Printable version | Jun 2, 2020 1:10:04 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/fake-websites-offer-lockdown-discounts-on-mont-blanc-pens/article31654228.ece

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