Scammers make money with blood donation

Hyderabad: In an alarming incident, individuals posing as medical college students have approached families with patients in hospitals and offering to donate blood, only to later demand money from them. Once they receive the payment, they disappear.

Speaking about the issue, Amar Kokkanti, a resident of Madinaguda, said, "The surge in scams targeting blood donations is alarming. This has happened thrice with my friends and I. These fraudulent practices not only exploit the goodwill of people but also endanger the lives of those in need.”

According to reports, the scammers are persistent in their demands for payment after the agreement but before the blood donation takes place. Despite expressing doubts, many families succumbed to pressure because of the dire necessity for blood, and sent money to fraudsters.

One of the members of an affected family, who wished to remain anonymous, said: "We received a call from someone claiming to be a medical college student and that he was willing to donate blood. Initially, we were relieved and grateful. However, within minutes, they demanded money, asking for travel allowances. We sent `2,000 to him, but later realised we were trapped. Sometimes, it is not about money but it is about the patient who is in an emergency.

Officials warn that such deceptive schemes prey on the vulnerability of families already grappling with the stress of a medical emergency. "These scammers take advantage of people's desperation and manipulate them into sending money," said cyber expert Praveen Tangella.

He said this type of fraud is on the rise after the Covid-19 pandemic. “Exercise caution and refrain from sending money to anyone claiming to facilitate blood donations. Instead, directly coordinating with hospitals or blood banks to ensure the legitimacy of the donation process,” he explained.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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