Groningen postdoc conned by fake foreign ministry phone call

Groningen postdoc conned by fake foreign ministry phone call

Photo: DutchNews Photo: DutchNews

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – An international researcher at Groningen University has been conned out of nearly €3,000 by someone posing as an employee of foreign affairs ministry, the Northern Times reported on Friday.

Manas Das, a postdoc from India working at the faculty of science and engineering, was threatened with deportation by someone claiming that his paperwork was not in order.

‘I took out all my money because I thought it was a threat to my family. I’m living here with a small kid and my wife,’ he told the website. He was told to hand over the money in the form of gift cards for Steam, an online gaming platform.

Das told the website he has an appointment with the Groningen police on Monday to file a formal complaint. He said he had decided to go public about the con in an effort to stop other people falling into the same trap.

Similar scams involving phone numbers mirroring legitimate Dutch government agencies have been reported by foreign professionals across the Netherlands over the past year. (DutchNews)

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