Last updated on March 20, 2024

Names and places mentioned herein are hypothetical. 

 

Piyumi needed some money to pay for her higher studies abroad. That course was offered by a recognized foreign institute. But it was hard to find dollars because there was a problem with the country’s currency due to the economic situation. She made a post on Facebook asking her friends for help. 

Then one day, she got a message on WhatsApp saying that she could change her rupees to dollars easily. She just had to put rupees in their bank account, and they would send an agent in 24 hours with dollars to her in return. Piyumi thought this was the best way. 

She talked to the person who sent the message. Their WhatsApp profile said they were from ABC Money Exchange. Piyumi asked if she had to go to their office, but they said it’s not necessary. They told her that their special exchange rate was 1 dollar for 280 rupees. She was very happy to hear that.
 
Piyumi put around Rs.14,000/- first in their account. She waited longer than a day for an agent and messaged them on WhatsApp, but they didn’t reply. Finally, she tried to call them, but realized that her number has been blocked by them. 

Piyumi felt very upset and told her brother what happened. He suggested calling Hithawathi. Piyumi explained everything to Hithawathi, who said there were scams like this going on. Hithawathi told her about the options of reporting the WhatsApp number (with screenshots of the conversation to prove the fraud) and lodging a police entry online via TELL IGP (attaching the evidence).

 

Precaution Tips:

  • Verify the identities of people who try to contact you.
  • Be careful of things that sound too good to be true.
  • Before exchanging money, make sure the place is approved by the Central Bank.
  • If you face any scams, call Hithawathi for advice and stay informed about current scams. (https://www.hithawathi.lk/help-centre/real-time-cases/#Scam).
  • To get legal help, file a complaint by visiting the relevant police station or online through TELL IGP.