By Fiona Mehta
Cyber Crime in India has increased substantively over the past few years. A recent complaint on 6th May 2022 was registered in the cyber crime department by a girl.
In her complain, she states that she got a call from an unknown number saying that she had filed a complaint regarding internet/ network issues. The scammer asked her to dial *401* following a phone number, so that they can help her with her complaint. By following this procedure, she got a notification from WhatsApp saying that ‘you have logged in from a new device’ and she was eventually unable to access her WhatsApp account.
When you dial this number what happens is that you give access to call forwarding. This way the scammer is able to receive all the calls received on your mobile number and eventual access WhatsApp account. After this, the scammer keeps messaging your contacts for money.
A similar scam has been running on Facebook for several years where a link is forwarded to everyone in your friends list through the messenger app and clicking on this link hacks your account. By hacking your account, they can contact all your friends impersonating as you and steal money.
Precautions you can take to save yourself from such scams:
- Verify the caller, verify the source of the message received, and refrain from clicking on the link no matter how tempting it looks. Block or report the number you got the message or call from.
- Active 2 factor verifications on all your social media apps.
- If you get a call asking you to put any number prefix (*), do not do so. Prefer going to your network provider in person and dealing with any issue you have.
- Do not share your personal information.
What can you do if you have been scammed?
- Inform your family and friends immediately.
- If you have been scammed or if anyone has even tried to scam you, report to the National Cyber Crime Portal of India.
- Block your sim-card, freeze your bank account and change all your important passwords.
- Do not forget to enable 2 factor verification. This way no one will be able to log in even if they get the OTP for verification.