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HomeTechnology and CybersecurityCyber CrimeFraud Alert: Mumbai Techie Loses 18 Lakhs, Earns 1,500

Fraud Alert: Mumbai Techie Loses 18 Lakhs, Earns 1,500

According to the recent NCRB report, cybercrime is on the rise in India, with states and union territories witnessing a 24.4 percent increase. In 2022, a total of 65,893 cases were registered under cybercrimes, reflecting a significant surge from 2021’s 52,974 cases. The crime rate under this category escalated from 3.9 in 2021 to 4.8 in 2022. The majority of cases (64.8 percent) were related to fraud (42,710 out of 65,893 cases), followed by extortion (5.5 percent) and sexual exploitation (5.2 percent).

The surge is attributed to people’s desire for quick earnings and the widespread use of digital banking, providing fraudsters opportunities to exploit individuals. The National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal enables victims to easily file complaints, contributing to the fight against cybercrimes.

Mumbai Techie’s 18 Lakhs Scam

In a recent incident in Mumbai, a 33-year-old techie working for a multinational consulting and IT service company lost Rs 18 lakhs in an online fraud. The techie received a message on WhatsApp offering a part-time job of providing fake ratings to hotels online. The scam involved the victim giving a fake rating, taking a screenshot, and sending it to a specified WhatsApp number. Despite earning Rs 200 for the first task and Rs 1,300 for the next one, the techie eventually lost Rs 18 lakhs. An FIR was filed on December 2, and the cyber police froze the accounts related to the crime.

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Modus Operandi

The accused lured the techie into a scheme by initially offering payment for fake hotel ratings. As the victim completed tasks and earned money, he was then directed to create a Telegram account and join a group where more paid tasks were promised. The fraudsters provided a link and login credentials to access a virtual wallet, encouraging further investments. Eventually, the victim invested Rs 18.34 lakhs, expecting higher profits. However, when attempting to transfer the earnings to his bank account, the victim discovered the scam.

Increasing Trend of Cybercrimes

Cybercrimes are prevalent, affecting individuals of all ages. A 60-year-old retired bank officer lost Rs 1.75 lakhs in an online fraud incident. The victim accepted a friend request on Facebook and sent money for alleged training. The rise in banking frauds is attributed to call centers targeting individuals, prompting authorities to advise against sharing bank details with strangers or even individuals claiming to be from the bank.

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Tips to Avoid Banking Fraud

To protect against banking fraud, follow these tips:

  1. Avoid paying online on random websites.
  2. Avoid using unsecured unknown Wi-Fi networks.
  3. Never download or install applications from untrusted sources.
  4. Set up a strong password for your online bank account.
  5. Avoid sharing bank information like OTP, card details, or ID-password with untrusted individuals.

In case of any banking fraud, immediately contact your bank and call the cyber-crime national helpline at 1930 or 155260.

Source: Times Of India, The Free Press Journal Article by Hima Mohan Reporting for True To Life.

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