Fraudsters continue to have a field day in Northeast India, including Nagaland, cheating innocent and gullible individuals of their hard-earned money- to the tune of lakhs of rupees. The victims are either tricked into compromising bank details or made to pay a token amount to receive a large sum of money from abroad or transact certain amount of money in order to claim a fake parcel coming from outside the country. Scammers use various tricks to deceive victims, usually after befriending and gaining their trust on social media and other public platforms. Just a few days ago, a citizen of Dimapur was duped of INR 2 lakh; the amount was paid for a fake Indigo Airlines appointment letter and a ticket of the same airline. The victim came to Dimapur airport with her parents to take a flight to Guwahati for a job but the ticket turned out to be fake, and so too the appointment letter. The dreams of the young girl turned into a nightmare. Close on the heels of the incident, it came to light that the Dimapur police busted an illegal racket operated by a person from Ivory Coast. The accused was arrested for fraudulent bank transactions in Dimapur, and it was found during the police inquiry that the individual was found using several bank accounts belonging to poor and ignorant villagers from Nagaland for fraud and other criminal purposes in Delhi and other parts of India. The bank account passbook, ATM cards and chequebook were said to be bought from villagers for just a few thousand rupees to carry out criminal activities.
These are not isolated cases. Dozens of such incidents have happened in the past; in fact it has been happening for years now and there seems to be no sign of slowing down especially in the north-eastern region. The police have said that fraudsters lure underprivileged girls from Nagaland with the promise of a better life, convince them to live with them in cities like Delhi and then use them to obtain bank accounts from underprivileged people from the state. What is even more disturbing is the involvement of our own people in cheating unaware villagers from the state. Besides innocent unsuspecting people being duped of their hard-earned money, scores of young people, especially girls from Northeast region are being trafficked every year by luring them with lucrative jobs in the cities. Such victims undergo unimaginable trauma and suffering as they are mostly forced into prostitution or have their organs harvested or made to do other unpleasant works. According to police records, 87 human trafficking cases were registered in different districts of Nagaland between 2017 and 2019. While those behind such criminal activities should be tracked down and punished according to the law of the land, it is also necessary for the people of the region to shed their gullible nature. Extensive awareness drives should be carried out across the region, especially in remote areas as individuals from rural areas are more prone to befalling such fraudsters. Not a single soul should fall prey to such inexcusable miscreants, we must all do our part to raise awareness and combat such criminal atrocities.