A former director general of police, a top judicial officer and an educated NRI are among the fresh targets of cyber fraud, top police officials said. “Recently, while virtually addressing the IPS probationers in SVP National Police Academy (NPA), Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that women and children have been very vulnerable to cybercrime. But what we are observing now is that persons occupying high-profile positions are also becoming victims to online fraud,” said a top police officer.
A few days ago, chairman and managing director of Telangana State Southern Power Distribution Company Limited (TSSPDCL) G Raghuma Reddy lodged a complaint with Hyderabad cybercrime police claiming that sensitive information was taken from him by a fraudster. “The caller identified himself as an employee of a general insurance company and requested me to furnish details of PAN number and driving license number to get the claim of 4.5 lakh insurance amount,” Reddy told police in his complaint.
Fearing that his credentials might be misused by the fraudsters, he further said: “I have furnished details of my driving licence number and PAN number thinking that the call is genuine. But after some time, I got suspicious and tried to call back on the same mobile number and it was switched off. When I checked the number through Truecaller, I found that it was fake.”
Similarly, a retired director general of police rank officer recently lost nearly Rs 2.5 lakh after a caller who posed as a BSNL call centre executive asked him to update his Know Your Customer (KYC).
The unidentified person made the former top cop download a remote accessing app on his phone. Subsequently, the hacker collected all the net banking details of the police officers and made four different banking transactions and withdrew money.
Many of the victims who were conned in the recent times are residents of upmarket Banjara Hills, Jubilee Hills and Madhapur, comprising top businessmen, techies and executives.
A person of Indian origin who resides in the USA and Hyderabad, lost Rs 11.50 crore a few days ago. He was cheated by a few persons on the pretext of trading seed oil through import business. The victim, who is a doctor, had responded to an unsolicited email. He lodged a complaint with Hyderabad police as he was in the city.
“The breach of customer details is one of the prime reasons for cyber frauds. Many victims fall prey to fraudsters since the fraudsters after accessing the breached data, give authentic details about the customer like policy details or banking information or similar information, while fooling the customer that it’s an authentic phone call. Trusting the caller, the victims share all the requested information,” assistant commissioner of police (cybercrime) KVM Prasad told TOI.
He added that the new trend of luring people to download remote accessing apps is becoming a dangerous weapon. “Using the apps, the fraudster gets access to the victim’s mobile phone and siphons off money,” said Prasad.