Mumbai crime: Cyber frauds target victims with Rs 15,000 offer from PM's relief package

Without wasting any window of opportunity, cyber criminals have targeted economic relief packages announced by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and have begun sending links to citizens in a bid to trap them and make them a victim of phishing. The cyber police officials have added the economic relief packages filter on the police's social media platforms, which would immediately alert them of any incidents pertaining to this type of fraud.

Lately, the cyber fraudsters have been exploiting pandemic-triggered insecurities among citizens and cashing in on surge in online transactions and link frauds in the time of lockdown. Ever since the economic relief packages worth Rs 20 lakh crore were announced on national television by PM Modi, cyber criminals got to work and sent over thousands of messages, embedded with links to a phishing website, which lures the user on the pretext of promising Rs 15,000 in their account as mentioned by PM Modi.

A cyber expert said, once the user clicks on the phishing links, they are taken to a fake website which is identical to the original one and seeks the user's bank account details. Once the user enters their bank details like account number, consumer ID for net banking and password, the fraudsters immediately note those numbers and use it to siphon money.

A senior state cyber official said many messages have been circulated on social media and e-mails that claim that the user stands a chance to get the money promised in the economic relief package in the difficult times of Coronavirus, which has led to a panic-like situation.

Balsing Rajput, Superintendent of Police, Maharashtra Cyber said, "There has been a spike in instances of cybercrime with 200 cases being reported in April and over 150 complaints till date. These fraudsters use phishing or vishing to get people’s bank details and impersonate as government servant to trick people to transfer money, such as fake accounts for PM CARES fund among others."

Time and again, the cyber officials have appealed to the citizens to not fall prey to such tricks and no government body or official would ever ask for any privy bank details like ATM PIN, CVV or password for net banking. If one comes across any such frauds, they should immediately report to police, who will initiate a strict probe in the matter.

(To download our E-paper please click here. The publishers permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal