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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Monday, 20 May 2024 2.45 PM IST

Emerging cyber scams; New threat in digital age

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Although there are many conveniences to online shopping, one of the side effects is that you may end up purchasing unwanted items. However, beyond just spending money, there are increasingly prevalent dangers such as scams, frauds, and threats lurking within online shopping platforms. Recently, a story emerged about the complexities of receiving unordered items through cash on delivery. Yet, the fraud reported yesterday transcends mere scamming; it constitutes a criminal offense.

Initially, the victim, a lawyer from Bengaluru, received a phone call informing her that a parcel containing MDMA capsules was en route, with the information forwarded to the cyber cell department. Subsequently, a scammer posing as a cyber cell officer obtained the woman's Aadhaar and bank account details under the guise of an investigation.

The scammer then suggested transferring all funds to a dummy account to verify transaction legitimacy due to the narcotic content of the parcel. To allegedly conduct a narcotics test, they demanded the woman appear naked on Skype, threatening narcotics charges if she refused. Under duress, the victim succumbed, losing 14 lakh rupees from her account to avoid the dissemination of compromising material.

Many scams originate from monitoring e-commerce accounts and acquiring addresses of frequent online shoppers. Personal information, including Aadhaar details, is readily available on illicit websites like the dark web. To mitigate risks, only transact on trusted e-commerce platforms, keep records of online orders, promptly return unordered items and report recurring scams.

Under no circumstances should you disclose Aadhaar or bank account details, credit/debit card PINs, or passwords to unknown entities. Avoid clicking suspicious links, as advanced technology scams can compromise personal data and even access images stored on your device. Exercise caution with every online transaction to safeguard against financial loss and potentially life-threatening scams. Vigilance remains the best defense.

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TAGS: EDITORIAL, CYBER, SCAM
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