Fraud can take a lot of interesting forms. Frauds involving lotteries, winnings, estates are common. There are frauds that are in the same vein and those are the frauds that are easy for people to succumb to. These are frauds that lower our usual suspicions and in fact do the opposite. They in fact make us play into the hands of our fraudsters. These are frauds that prey on our emotions and our care for our loved ones.

Frauds that prey on emotions 

Frauds that prey on emotions could take the shape of fraud about a particular family member or near and dear one. It could be about a dear one's health, dear one's success, or dear one's well-being. It could also be about the dear one being in an emergency or the dear one being in the opposite of an emergency - being a winner in a contest. All these frauds have one thing in common - they prey on our desire to see our dear ones stay healthy, wealthy, and successful.

Image of baby used to show emotions for kids

Amazon Photoshoot Fraud

Nidhi and Mahesh Mittal from Pune are proud parents of a Baby Boy. Facebook has become home for our memories and our life updates. It has become a great way to share updates and news about what's happening with our life with our friends and family. This has also meant that this provides information to others that could be used to target us.

Nidhi was approached by a lady called Nikita from an organization named India Next Star suggesting that anyone between the ages 0 to 70 can be chosen for Acting, Ramp Walk, Singing, Dancing, Photoshoot. Nikia informs Nidhi that her child has been chosen for Amazon Photoshoot and asks her to register.

India Next Star Web Grab for Blog

A quick visit to the site makes one feel that this may be a legitimate site since photos of several children and kids have been displayed. Nidhi has registered her child for the event by paying an amount of Rs.1539.26. A quick look at the payment screenshot reveals that the payment has been made in the name of an individual and not the organization.

Unresponsive to Calls and Messages

After registering for the event, she has received a basic confirmation message but no one has been in touch with Nidhi or delivered on what was promised. The payment was made on May 19, 2021. However, until now, no one has responded. In spite of repeated calls and messages, "Nikita" has not responded. Nidhi is facing the ire of her family members for registering her child and losing hard-earned money. 

This is a signature scam involving the emotions that parents have for their children. Since attachments to newborns and infants are even higher, it makes it easy for fraudsters to prey on these emotions.

Nidhi has poured out her situation on Facebook and is pleading for help. The available methods are limited. If and when they work, will take a long time to restore the money to the victim. More importantly, since the amount involved is smaller in the grand scheme of things, it becomes cost-prohibitive to get the money back.  

How to avoid frauds about loved ones

1. Avoiding frauds involving loves ones takes the form of having a lot of caution

2. In general, a degree of suspicion or skepticism must be exercised and details obtained

3. Wherever money changes hands, some degree of control must be exercised

4. Money should be paid only after making the other party go to great lengths to prove their trustworthiness

5. Use a platform such as Vouch to protect payments in situations like these


This is Fraud Story # 15. Check back here for more fraud chronicles and frauds that you can protect yourself from.

Safety is not just about protecting your credit or debit card number. It's about getting paid for your hard work!


Note: This is a good-faith initiative to educate the world about how to avoid frauds like these. Do you have a fraud that you would like to report? Please write to us at