LifestyleFood Lovers Beware! Cybercrooks Target Eateries

Food Lovers Beware! Cybercrooks Target Eateries


Have you ever wondered your stomach is growling, and you ordered food from your favourite restaurant with tempting offers and placed an order which turned out to be a nightmare, people are being dumped and faced financial loss. With the ever-growing technology, Cyber fraudsters are constantly evolving their techniques to deceive innocent people and extract their personal information or financial gains. Recently, a concerning trend has emerged where cybercrooks have targeted food apps in Kolkata. In this blog post, we will discuss the modus operandi of these fraudsters and provide you with some valuable tips to protect yourself from cyber fraud.

Knowing the scam

Kolkata has been recently in the news and all over social media because of a cyber fraud targeting famous food restaurants, such as Brands like Aminia, Peter Cat, and Oh! Calcutta and 6 Ballygunge Palace, chelo kebab tempt users with attractive offers like ‘Buy 1 and Get 2’ from Peter Cat, and other popular restaurants in Kolkata started to crop up on social media pages. Many fell for such traps and have lost money in different cyber frauds. fraudsters were using display advertisements on sites like Facebook and Instagram and other social media pages for fooling people “Once the victim clicks on the link, several Google forms appear, asking for the orders and payment”.
On 18th June 2023, 16 complaints were filed in the cyber cell dumping the consumers.

Modus Operandi

Let’s look at the modus operandi of the fraudsters who set up bogus Facebook pages and make fraudulent phone calls to foodies in Kolkata. You might be better equipped to spot and prevent their frauds if you know their strategies. Here’s an overview of how these con artists work:

Facebook Sites: To be effective, phoney Facebook sites: Fraudsters make phoney Facebook sites seem like the authentic pages of prominent eateries like Peter Cat and others. They employ identical logos, photos, and text to make the pages look real. To entice naïve viewers, these portals frequently promise alluring offers, discounts, and contests.
Tempting Offers and Exciting deals: Scammers want to entice foodies by providing unique bargains and discounts on phoney Facebook sites. They may promise significant discounts, limited-time deals, or freebies to persuade people to participate in their fraudulent schemes. The deals provided may appear too good to pass up, so proceed with care and scepticism.
Extraction of Personal Information: One of the critical goals of these scams is to get personal information from unsuspecting victims. Fraudsters may request personal information such as your name, address, phone number, email address, or bank account information. They employ numerous strategies to make their demands appear legitimate, such as claiming to require the information for verification or to complete the exclusive offer.
Demand for fast Payment: Scammers frequently require fast payment to confuse their prey further. They may say that the reduced offer is only available for a short period or that a deposit is necessary to secure the bargain. Such methods try to generate a sense of urgency, giving victims little time to think sensibly and perhaps leading to rash judgments.
Fraudsters use confidence and brand familiarity by mimicking well-known and respected eateries such as Peter Cat. Many consumers enjoy these eateries and may be susceptible to fraud that appears to come from reliable sources.

Investigation so far

After the various complaints were lodged, the police could arrest 3 people. A gang from Jharkhand’s Jamtara — India’s virtual cybercrime capital — established a BPO that tracked down restaurant bookings, built up fake contact numbers and websites of Kolkata’s prominent eateries, and hired employees proficient in seven languages. were transported to Kolkata on transit remand after being produced in a Jharkhand court. Several incriminating papers were taken from their hands, including bank account passbooks, chequebooks, PAN cards, Aadhaar cards, five smartphones, and a few SIM cards.

Red Flags to Look out for: Here are some red flags to look out for that can help you to identify the potential scam:

Unrealistic Offers: Be sceptical of offers that look too good to be true. Fraudsters may use exceptionally enticing discounts, freebies, or promotions to lure victims into their schemes. If an offer appears unduly generous or unrealistic, it is likely a red flag for fraudulent activity.
Poor Grammar and Spelling: Take note of the language quality used in written communications, such as Facebook postings or texts. Many fraudsters, especially those from non-native English-speaking countries, may use foul language, misspellings, or strange phrase patterns. These mistakes may indicate fraudulent activities.
Request for Personal Information: Legitimate firms rarely ask for sensitive personal information, such as bank account numbers, via unwanted phone calls or emails. Consider it a significant red flag if someone purporting to represent a restaurant requests your personal information early in the chat. Never reveal your personal or financial information to strangers or on untrusted networks.
Unusual Payment Methods: Be wary if the scammers ask for money in ways that respectable firms only sometimes utilise. They may, for example, seek payment by wire transfer, gift card, or cryptocurrency. Legitimate businesses often provide safe and widely accepted payment methods.
Suspicious URLs or Website Design: When clicking on links offered in Facebook posts or messages, take note of the URL of the website you arrive at. Fraudsters frequently develop websites that seem authentic but differ slightly in the URL or design. Verify the website’s validity by examining the URL, seeking secure connections https://, and looking for misspellings or strange domain names.
Unprofessional Communication: If the person contacting you over the phone or through texts acts unprofessionally, uses harsh or threatening language, or fails to offer clear and sufficient answers to your inquiries, it’s a red flag that they’re trying to deceive you.
Spread Awareness: By spreading awareness about fake scams, sharing the information, and encouraging others to be cautious, you can contribute to creating a safer online environment and encourage others to share their experiences so that they can educate others.


As cyber criminals become more skilled, we must be aware and defend ourselves from their deceptive techniques. The development of phoney Facebook pages and fraudulent phone calls targeting foodies in Kolkata warns us that we must be cautious when communicating online, always visit trusted pages, and be cautious. Remember, your safety is in our hands.

References :

Tanu Shree Saxena


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