Mumbai: Online fraud over Covid booster dose to siphon off money, police cautions citizens

Mumbai: Online fraud over Covid booster dose to siphon off money, police cautions citizens

When the senior citizen gives an affirmative answer, the scamster also shares the date of vaccination and centres to make it look more genuine, said the official.

Sachin GaadUpdated: Sunday, January 02, 2022, 09:34 PM IST
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In the light of the recent surge in cases of COVID-19's Omicron variant in the country, the situation has paved the way to another type of online fraud. In this telephonic COVID 19 scam, the scamster lures the victims with a booster dose and seeks their details as well as the OneTime Password (OTP) which is most likely taken to siphon off the money in the bank accounts.

The police have forewarned the citizens, especially seniors, that no such booster doses have been made available yet. A senior official said, if and when the booster doses are made available, it can only be procured through proper channels.

According to a senior cyber official, a new type of fraud has come to the fore, wherein the caller, who identifies himself as a government employee, contacts the senior citizens and enquires with them if they are double vaccinated.

When the senior citizen gives an affirmative answer, the scamster also shares the date of vaccination and centres to make it look more genuine, said the official.

After confirmation of the basic details, the scamster asks the victims if they are interested in taking a third vaccination, a booster dose, which is effective in fighting the Omicron variant of COVID-19. Once the victim falls prey to the con, the scamster asks them to register themselves to be eligible for the booster dose, which will be rolled out for the public in January or February.

The officials said that in the name of registration, the scamster informs the victim that there will be an OTP that will be received on their phone.

"Over 15 minutes after the phone call, another call is made to the victim to seek the OTP, which could empty the bank account or siphon off the money of the victim. In a bid to stay away from such scams, the elderly especially should enquire with the government channels to ascertain if any such doses are offered," added the official.

The online scamsters have cashed in on every opportunity to fool the citizens, taking advantage of the pandemic scaring and looting them of their hard-earned money.

The police have appealed to the citizens to not fall prey to such scams and report it at the nearest police station if they receive any such calls or messages seeking details or offering a third dose (booster) in exchange for personal details.

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