Tribune News Service
Ludhiana, May 9
Cyber criminals are all out to target people seeking help related to Covid-19. On their radar are people in need of oxygen, beds or Covid-related medicines.
After the country’s cyber security agency raised an alert, the police have urged people to stay vigilant and avoid any such communication with cyber criminals.
There are numerous reports of fraudulent text messages sent to victims’ phones, bearing the names of official authorities or electronic financial transaction applications which request the victims to click on links to update their data. On clicking, it allows fraudsters to misappropriate money from the victims’ bank accounts.
A police official said cyber criminals can also make a call after sending text message on the pretext that he or she has been in close contact with a person infected with Covid-19 and ask the recipient to click on the link to comply with the precautionary measures or update the data connected to the financial application.
In this way, fraudsters manage to steal confidential information from victims and data on their mobile phones, access their bank accounts and misappropriate funds from them. The money is either transferred to other bank accounts or withdrawn from ATMs.
Sharing the incident, a city based resident said, “My brother was Covid positive and got treated at a government facility. A few days later I got a text message on my mobile phone and the caller said click on the link to comply with the Covid related precautionary measures as one of your family member was Covid positive. Immediately, I also got a call and the caller said he is speaking on government behalf and government is sending Covid injection for all family members. He asked me to click on the link to get enrolled.” He added that since he had seen the police awareness message about such frauds on social media, he didn’t click on the link. He said he had shared about his brother’s recovery from Covid on social media and it could be possible that fraudsters took his mobile number from there.
Additional DCP (Crime) Rupinder Kaur Bhatti said in such crisis, people should remain vigilant as cyber criminals may call to extend help related to Covid. She added that cyber criminals keep searching data on social media to get detail about the persons putting posts related to any Covid help etc.
ADCP said avoid opening text messages received from unknown senders/persons and be cautious while sharing your mobile number or personal details on social media for getting Covid related help.
Inspector Pawan Kumar, in-charge, Cyber City 1, said, “We are probing these cases, and are trying to identify the criminals and the place from where they are operating. We will soon bust the racket.”
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