Top five methods adopted by cyber criminals to dupe people

| | New Delhi
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Top five methods adopted by cyber criminals to dupe people

Friday, 08 December 2023 | Staff Reporter | New Delhi

With the national Capital witnessing a sharp increase in cybercrime cases over the years, the Delhi Police has identified top five methods adopted by cyber criminals and cautioned people against them.

 According to the Intelligence Fusion & Strategic Operations, or Cyber Crime Unit, of the Delhi Police, these crime methods are “fake TRAI or FedEx courier company callers”, “home job or Telegram fraud”, “sextortion”, “fake family member or friend in distress”, and “OTP or link-based cheating”.

 The latest National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data showed that Delhi registered 685 cybercrime cases in 2022 as against 345 in 2021 and 166 in 2020.

 Here are brief details of modus operandi followed by cyber criminals:

 1) Fake TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) or FedEx (courier) company callers:

 Under this modus operandi, a person gets a recorded call from an unknown number and is told by the caller that his or her mobile number will be soon discarded. The caller will then ask the person to click ‘9’, that will be linked to a fake call centre which is set up by the fraudsters in a room.

 The potential victim is then told that the mobile number has been detected to have terror links and some money has been deposited into the person’s account via hawala operators.

 When questioned for authenticity, the caller asks the target to come on a Skype call and informs that he or she will be digitally arrested. Soon after, the target receives a fake notice from security agencies such as the CBI and the Income Tax.

 Thereafter, the fraudsters show sympathy towards the target and promise help. If the target seeks their help, they take bank details in the garb of verification and ask the person to put some money into a fake government account number shared by them with the promise of returning the amount in two-three days.

 According to police, a similar modus operandi is used by fraudsters posing as courier company agents from FedEx. This kind of cases of cheating is being reported for the past six months, an official said.

 In these cases, a fake courier company agent usually tells a potential target that the parcel sent to them contains drugs. The agent then offers help to protect the person from any potential action by a security agency and take money.

2) Home job or Telegram fraud:

 In this, the potential target will get a message on his or her WhatsApp number with a part-time job offer. The target is told to open an account in Telegram and an organiser then adds the number in a group. The organiser then give some tasks, usually to follow certain social media accounts or like videos on social media platforms.

 The potential target is promised thousands of rupees for a day’s work. Initially, the person gets the promised money, starting from Rs 150 to Rs 300, for just clicks. Once a person starts working on a daily basis, he or she is asked deposit some money for certain tasks. Though initially a person gets some refund, once the prepaid amount is high, the fraudsters dupe the person. In this method, an official said, other members in the group usually encourage the potential target to invest more by stating that they have already done so. According to the officials, the accounts of other members in the group are actually handled by one person.

 3) Sextortion:

Under this modus operandi, the potential target gets a random video call on mobile phone. When the person attends the video call, he finds a woman engaging in obscene act. By the time the person disconnects the call, the fraudsters either record the video or take a screenshot of the video chat.

 The person then receives a phone call from a person posing as a police officer and is informed that the woman on the call has lodged a complain against him. The person posing as a police officer then sends the screenshot of the video chat to the target and extorts money from him under the garb of settling the matter.

4) Fake family member or friend in distress:

 In this method, a potential target receives a call from an anonymous number and the caller claims to be an old friend or relative. The fraudsters may even use artificial intelligence (AI) to emulate the voice of someone known to the person. The caller will tell the other person that he is in distress and needs money.

 The caller will ask the target to send the money to his account but the sender will find out later that the caller was lying. In this category, the fraudsters dupe women by creating profiles on matrimonial websites and once they gain a woman’s trust, they ask her to deposit money on some pretext. The fraudsters stop taking calls after getting the money.

 5) OTP or link-based cheating:

 This the most commonly used modus operandi by cyber criminals for years. Under this, a person usually gets a message of offers and links of prizes on mail. The person is asked to open the link and follow the procedure to get the money. People who are less tech savvy still get trapped in such operations.

The fraudsters also send message about a courier and asks the potential target to deposit money in the account number shared by them.

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