Beware Of Cyber Fraudsters! CERT-In Issues Fresh Advisory Against Scammers Using Morphed & Fake Online Personas

Beware Of Cyber Fraudsters! CERT-In Issues Fresh Advisory Against Scammers Using Morphed & Fake Online Personas

The advisory states that ‘morphing’ is altering or changing the picture of a person using sophisticated tools. Criminals send friend requests on social media to unsuspecting people, who get trapped once they accept the request.

Somendra SharmaUpdated: Thursday, December 14, 2023, 03:08 PM IST
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Beware Of Cyber Fraudsters! CERT-In Issues Fresh Advisory Against Scammers Using Morphed & Fake Online Personas |

The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERTIn) has issued an advisory against cyber fraudsters donning morphed and fake online persona of police officials in video calls to threaten people with implication in crimes they haven’t committed. Fearing loss of reputation and respect, victims pay money to criminals.

The advisory states that ‘morphing’ is altering or changing the picture of a person using sophisticated tools. Criminals send friend requests on social media to unsuspecting people, who get trapped once they accept the request. They receive video calls using images/videos of police officials and get blackmailed into paying up after being threatened.

Important Points To Remember

Citizens have been asked to never accept friend requests from unknown people. They should lock profile visibility from public searches, and never attend to calls from strangers through social media accounts. The advisory states, “Keep the privacy settings of your social media profile at the most restricted levels, especially for those not in your contacts.”

Other safety guards include enabling multi-factor authentication with strong passwords, and saving the evidence and the screen shots for referring to the incident later.

“Don’t suffer in silence, reach out and seek help from trusted family and friends. If you observe your fake profile or any such objectionable posts on social media, report them to the respective social media help centre or report cyber crimes immediately by calling 1930 or visit https://www.cybercrime.gov.in,” the advisory states.

In another advisory related to fake online advertisements, the advisory states, “Fraudsters engage in online scams through advertisements with the intention of stealing money or harming someone’s online reputation. Fraudsters may also display an urgent tone as a limited-time offer and may have fake review videos,” as per the advisory.

Scams Using Ads Showing Drop In Price Of Expensive Items

The advisory further states that fraudsters offer expensive and in-demand items at a cheaper rate and request an upfront payment and demand delivery fees or GST after getting the victim’s attention. Fraudsters also send the delivery tracking details to make the victim believe that they are actually going to receive the product, following which they block calls.

So, check before you click on any link. Always check the domain names and see if the link is legitimate. Analyse and verify the genuineness of the reviews and comments on any product or advertisement. Do not interact with strangers on social media. Avoid clicking on any link or attachment received from strangers in SMS or chats on social media platforms. Moreover, never share your financial details over the phone or on any social media platforms with strangers.

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