While the coronavirus pandemic has brought the world to a standstill, there has been a multiple-fold increase in cyber fraud. With digital transactions rising and online banking becoming more popular amid coronavirus lockdown, there has been a sudden surge in cyber fraud cases in Mumbai.
Internet usage has drastically shot up with most office-goers working from home and students taking online classes. With lockdown in several cities and nationwide lockdowns imposed from March to June to control the spread of coronavirus, many have switched to online transactions which has lured cyber criminals. These crooks are busy writing malicious programmes, phishing attacks and malware targeted at unsuspecting victims.
But don't worry, here is a guide which one can follow in case you are a victim of cyber fraud:
▪Immediately alert the local police station or call the 24x7 Cyber Helpline (9820810007) set up to prevent and tackle Cyber Crime.
▪For bank frauds, immediately alert the concerned bank, block the card and fill a dispute form. If fraud is reported within 24 hours of the crime, it becomes the responsibility of the concerned stakeholder to recover the money.
▪Never share your bank details, debit/credit card number, and One Time Password (OTP) with anyone. Remember, bank officers will never ask for such sensitive details on phone. And, if anyone claiming to be from your bank asks for such details, decline the request and visit or call your bank to report the same.
While alerting bank, keep following documents handy --
•Bank statement of the last six months.
•A copy of messages received related to the alleged transactions.
•Identity and address proof as shown in the bank records.
Maharashtra Cyber, a nodal office in the state for cybercrime investigation and maintenance of cybersecurity, has issued an advisory related to phishing kits on sale on hacker forums. Maharashtra Cyber in a statement said that a phishing kit is a collection of software tools that makes it easier for people with little or no technical skills to launch phishing exploit. The cyber police in Maharashtra also issued a set of instructions for avoiding phishing activity.
Here are a few precautions citizens should take:
• Never reveal personal or financial information in an email, and never respond to email solicitations for this information.
• Before sending or entering sensitive information online, always check the security of the website and pay special attention to the website's URL.
• Malicious websites may look identical to a legitimate site, but the URL may use a variation in spelling or a different domain.
• Always check if the website URL starts with 'https://'. HTTPS is a secure way to send data between a web server and a web browser.
• If unsure whether an email request is legitimate, try to verify it with information outside the content of the email.
• Never open any attachments or links shared by strangers via email. Doing these actions can install malware on your machine.
One can also report any cybercrime to your nearest police station or report it on www.cybercrime.gov.in.