A 68-year-old man from Whitefield, Bengaluru lost Rs 7 lakh to cybercriminals on 30 December while trying to book a flight to Thiruvananthapuram. Rajendra (name changed) said he had booked the ticket for 18 January through a mobile application (app). He received a text message, saying the payment had not been received but he found Rs 7 lakh had been deducted from his bank account.
“I called the ticket booking firm’s customer care number on 31 December. A person introducing himself as Deepak Kumar Sharma said he is unable to return the deducted amount due to technical problems. He asked me to provide another bank account number. I revealed only the last four digits of that number, yet I received several OTPs for bank transactions,” Rajendra said.
Bengaluru Police has registered a case of cheating under various sections of IPC and IT Act.
Meanwhile, in Nashik, a renowned doctor couple shared a similar experience on a WhatsApp voice note that has gone viral. The voice clip says that somewhere around the New Year’s day, the man received a call, with the caller claiming that he was calling from the service provider company that the doctor’s phone belonged to. The person then said that the SIM of the doctor’s phone had turned outdated and that it needed to be updated or validated.
The caller did not seek any information but only asked the doctor to download a certain app. The WhatsApp message reveals that the app that the doctor was asked to download was a screen-sharing app in disguise.
The caller could see the details on the doctor’s phone device. Within no time, the couple noticed that a large sum of money from their bank account had been fraudulently transferred to another account.
The doctor couple approached the police and the bank authorities who have now promised quick justice and return of the stolen money. But it did cause the victims a significant amount of anxiety and distress.
RBI warns about cybercrime possibilities
In February 2019, the Reserve Bank of India had warned citizens against many loopholes that cybercriminals use to pull off frauds related to funds. In its notice, the RBI had notified the banks that a mobile app named AnyDesk was being allegedly used to target the mobile phones of customers.
Once the app is downloaded, it seeks permission to access control of the phone like other applications. However, when the permission is granted by any user, AnyDesk app allegedly steals confidential data on the phone to carry out fraudulent, unauthorised transactions through any other payment apps available on the device.
The RBI’s cybersecurity and IT examination cell issued the alert. Once downloaded, AnyDesk generates a 9-digit code on the user’s device and calls the cybercriminals and asks for the code in the name of the bank. After the code is being found, the hacker seizes control of the unsuspecting consumer’s device and helps download all the information one may require to carry out such fraudulent transactions with ease.
How to stay safe from online frauds
- Frequently change your password and security settings. Use unlikely passwords and not your name or family members’ names and/or year of birth etc.
- Do not share your login credentials or OTP with anyone. Remember, the bank authorities will never ask for these details over call, email or SMS.
- Do not click on dubious links that promise freebies or free gifts for merely clicking and registering name and address etc. Avoid insecure websites and do not entertain calls that ask you bank details or to download a certain app.
- If you get an alert for login or transaction on internet banking which was not initiated by you, contact your bank immediately and inform the concerned authorities.
- Trying to call your bank? Call on your regular use helpline number of the bank and not some number floated on the Net.
- Do not share your personal information with anyone.
- Beware of your card being secretly cloned at any place of use, such as an ATM centre or a departmental store where a criminal could have attached a hidden camera and device to copy data as your card gets swiped.