kochi: Cyber ​​Frauds Get Innovative: Police | Kochi News

Kochi: The pandemic has made even those who used to detest gadgets tech-savvy. With more people now relying on digital devices, fraudsters are now trying a slew of methods to dupe gullible users of huge amounts, warns the district police.
According to police, gifts from India Post, WhatsApp support survey, fake matrimonial accounts, online data entry portals, job offers through SMS, screen sharing apps, fake loan approval messages, etc. are among the new innovative methods employed by scamsters engaged in cyber fraud.
District police had been issuing individual advisories on each type of scams as and when they start to get reported in Ernakulam. As per the most recent advisory issued by Kochi City police, a link to a fake website having the design of India Post was being circulated online. The website has a questionnaire and it asks the public to answer them correctly to win cash rewards. The scamsters will eventually ask for money as processing fee or registration fee. Police in the advisory urges the public to not share the link or click on such links.
Another warning issued by the Kochi City police was on a bogus WhatsApp support survey. In this new mode of cybercrime, fraudsters would try to hijack WhatsApp accounts by seeking OTP from users via phone calls or SMS messages. These will be later used for committing various crimes, warned the City police.
Ernakulam Rural police recently issued another advisory on scams through matrimonial websites. Police say that in such scams, scamsters are creating fake profiles on matrimonial websites and use voice changing software to pose as parents of prospective brides or grooms to gain trust. Later on they would demand money feigning some family emergency. Once money is loaned, the scamsters would go incommunicado, police said.
Another type of scam which the police have been repeatedly warning about is job offers through SMS messages. Police say that names of major companies with a slight change in spelling are used to make such bogus job offers and those who respond to them would fall in one trick or the other employed by the fraudsters. Police said that fraudsters are even getting victims to install screen sharing apps so as to temporarily take control of the persons ‘mobile phone and later dupe him / her.
The latest NCRB report also shows that in 2020, the motivation behind as many as 25 cybercrime cases registered in the city was fraud. District police chief (Ernakulam Rural) K Karthick says that the public should be cautious online to prevent such scams.
“Once a scam has taken place, one should not hesitate at all to approach the police. We will take quick action, including attempts to restore the lost money. At the same time, precaution is better. Public should be cautious about bogus offers and deals which are too good to be true,” Karthick said.
He added that awareness was key to prevent such offenses and efforts were going on to improve the public’s awareness about cyber scams.


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