Spike in online fraud cases

Spike in online fraud cases

That’s because more people are going digital with their payments, say Bengaluru cyber police

Job frauds are common among cheating cases.

Online cheating cases have seen a dramatic increase over the past year. In some categories, the increase is three-fold.

“This is a clear indication that people are transacting a lot online,” a top officer told Metrolife.

The cheats are changing their methods, too. Earlier, they would ask potential victims to send them their OTPs (one-time passwords). They now send a code and follow it up with a link, asking the potential victim to click on it and fill a form. “The form collects card details, date of birth, Aadhaar number and is used to track down and cheat the victim,” he explains.

Want a good job?

Job frauds are second on the list. The frauds collect resumes and upload them on online job portals. They then send an e-mail from a fake ID and direct the victims to websites that look like those of reputed companies.

“A caller then contacts the victim and promises a well-paid job overseas. He then collects Aadhaar, passport and other documents, saying they are required for visa processing,” explains the officer.

The fraud then asks the victim for a refundable security deposit. A fake offer letter follows, emblazoned with the logo of a rock-solid company. The gullible job aspirant is trapped by then.

Swiped away

Many people in Bengaluru are losing money to card skimming. “When your debit or credit card is swiped away from your sight, you must immediately become alert,” says the officer. The business establishment may be using a skimming machine to harvest all your card details.

Social media users are highly vulnerable. The frauds never call on the mobile network. They only communicate through WhatsApp calls, using fake numbers.

Attempts to take control of Facebook and Instagram IDs is also becoming rampant. The fraud sends a friend request from a fake ID and starts chatting, and eventually asks for the IDs. This is a way to access personal details.

Pick and choose friends on social media, the officer says.

Greed: People fall for shopping deals that are too good to be true. For example, a Rs 50,000 phone is offered for Rs 5,000. Job aspirants are lured by high salaries offered by fraud headhunters and companies.

Lack of awareness: Blind trust is a problem. People give away their OTPs and codes, and share links without a thought. They also click on web links sent by strangers, and disclose Aadhaar number, date of birth, and other details that help the frauds cheat them.

Gadget ignorance: Many hand over their phones to others, even strangers, unaware of the risks: photos could be copied for blackmail, bank details collected for fraud, and personal safety compromised.

Cyber police tips

Don’t share any OTP, code or link.
Don’t hand over your phone to anyone.
Be cautious about social media ‘friends.’
If salary looks fab, you’re likely being cheated.
Always verify profiles and company details.
Don’t fall for too-good-to-be-true shopping deals.