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Indians in Sweden told to be wary of travel document scam

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Indians in Sweden told to be wary of travel document scam
File photo of a man using a phone not related to the story. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT
12:09 CEST+02:00
Indians in Sweden have been warned to be wary of phone calls from scammers pretending to work at the Indian embassy who demand money via wire transfers to fix supposed visa issues.

The calls typically involve the person being asked to deposit money into an account to fix errors in travel or residence documents, and the number of the incoming caller often appears to be the same phone number used by the Embassy of India in Stockholm.

One reader who contacted The Local explained that she lost 26,800 kronor ($3000) after being asked by a scammer to transfer the figure through a wire service to lawyers in India.

The First Secretary of the Embassy of India in Stockholm told The Local that the scam is easily identified as the embassy would never call up citizens and ask them for money over the phone.

“The Indian embassy would never do that, it simply isn’t our domain. The embassy has no business calling anyone and asking them to deposit such and such amount, it isn’t our job,” Kamal Parvez said.

Parvez said the embassy has been unable to identify how the scammers are managing to make it appear as if they are calling from the embassy's number, and the matter is currently being investigated by authorities.

“We can only speculate that the number was hacked by somebody, but the technicalities of the service provider aren’t available to us. It’s a matter of great concern for us and we’re doing everything we can to stop it. We’ve contacted diplomatic police, are in constant touch with them, and have forwarded all our information to them.”

More information on the scam can be found on the Stockholm Embassy of India website here.  

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