Pharmaceutical company Cipla has issued a cautionary notice against the scammers regarding Remdesivir. In the notice, the company asked the public to beware of the unscrupulous persons as they have set up bank accounts fraudulently in the name of Cipla Ltd. The notice suggests that such scammers are enticing the public to transfer funds in these accounts towards the alleged supply of medicines upon remittance.
Public Cautionary Notice Regarding Remdesivir. pic.twitter.com/k1ZCY2Q2zI— Cipla (@Cipla_Global) April 22, 2021
Cipla further added that such persons are not connected with or authorised by the company. “Authorities have been alerted and are investigating the matter. We urge consumers to source Cipla products only through our authorised stockists and channel partners,” it added.
Social media posts revealed people panic-paid frauds for injections
When we searched on social media to find out if there were people cheated by scammers on the pretext of arranging Remdesivir injections, we found a few tweets that suggested such scams have been happening more frequently than anyone would have thought.
मैंने जब उससे नंबर क्यों सज्जन से बात की तो उन्होंने अपना पता मुंबई के सिपला ऑफिस बताया।वह मुझे SBI का अकाउंट नंबर भेजा और कहा कि ₹3000 में आपको एक मिलेगी।आप पहले पहले पैसा ट्रांसफर कर दे।सज्जन की भाषा में मदर टंग इनफ्लुएंस काफी था। वह एग्जीक्यूटिव नहीं लगे और मुझे शक होगा।2/3— Sorabh Tiwari (@SorabhTiwari13) April 22, 2021
Sourabh Tiwari mentioned on Twitter that he called a number from Mumbai for Remdesivir. The person on the other side claimed to arrange the injection in two hours. He asked Tiwari to transfer money to his account. On suspicion when Tiwari checked the details, the number was not from Mumbai but West Bengal and the account number was a private bank account.
जब आगे जांच की तो उनका जो नंबर है वह बंगाल की क्षेत्र का पाया गया और जो SBI AC NO.पर्सनल अकाउंट नंबर कोलकाता का ही पाया गया।इससे यह साफ जाहिर हो हो गया कि यह फर्जी है।कृपया सचेत रहें और सावधान रहें।@arunbothra @shalabhmani@awasthis @capt_ivane @vikasbha @DelhiPolice @Uppolice— Sorabh Tiwari (@SorabhTiwari13) April 22, 2021
Another user Pooja Mehta put out her ordeal how she was cheated of Rs.28,000/- by one Abhishek Kumar. He claimed to be an employee of Zydus Pharmaceuticals and took Rs.28,000/- from her on the pretext of arranging Tocilizumab.
He took ₹28k from us via bank transfer (IMPS) & promised to send the injection from Khopoli to South #Mumbai within 2 hours. His IFSC code is that of Bhopal (@bhopal_police & @mpcyberpolice) & account is in @rblbank. After constant communication, we find that he WAS A #FRAUD.— Pooja Mehta (@PoojaMehta94) April 21, 2021
Pooja also shared conversation between her and Abhishek where she alleged that he had “lied through his teeth until the last minute.”
delivering the medicines which will save a critical patient’s life. I urge @cpmumbai to set an example by ARRESTING, PENALISING & PUNISHING THIS SCAMSTER. We pray for prompt action and justice 🙏🏻 pic.twitter.com/3XQbRSCwva— Pooja Mehta (@PoojaMehta94) April 21, 2021
Another user had replied to union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad where he alleged that he had paid one Ajay Agarwal for the Remidesivir injection and now he is not picking up his calls.
Dear Sir,— Gaurav Saxena (@GauravS90562924) April 22, 2021
I am gaurav &
Need vials urgently….paid full money but distributor not picking up or replying…who can help.
Distributor information as received for Remidesivir injection.Please contact Ajay Agarwal Cipla Distributor WA no. 7604027966.
Another user Jyoti had alleged she paid someone Rs.15,000 for the injection but now his number was switched off.
@DCP_CCC_Delhi Cipla Ltd.— JYOTI (@JYOTISH97217811) April 22, 2021
Account number – 20422978561
IFSC code -SBIN0000813
STATE BANK OF INDIA sir please help me I paid 15000 to him for covid injection his no. Is switch off pic.twitter.com/wqCwbKtcNE
Another user Nachiketa shared a similar story where he called up a number that he got on social media but it was saved as “Remdesivir fraud” on Truecaller.
Called this number. Doesn’t get connected. Truecaller shows this number as Remdesivir fraud 😣 pic.twitter.com/tDsjnnpkjT— nachiketh__shetty (@NachikethShetty) April 22, 2021
Ways to save yourself from scams
First of all, please do not pay anyone online for injections, especially before getting the medicine.
As mentioned by Cipla in its advisory, always go to an authorised distributor for the injection. Cipla has provided lists of authorised distributors for both Tocilizumab [PDF] and Remdesivir [PDF] that can be accessed from their website.
There are a lot of lists floating around on Social Media platforms that claim to be verified. Before trusting anyone of them, please call the number and try to find out if the distributor has some online presence. Double-check the information and pay only when you get the medicine in hand.
There have been cases where people arranged some medicines for a few people but later collected money and switched off the phone. It is a basic tactic of scammers first to gain trust and then run away with the money. It is strongly advised not to pay anyone in advance for the medicine without verifying the details.