Haryana ADGP warns of cyber criminals specially during lockdown

In the wake of COVID-19 lockdown, Haryana Police has issued an advisory requesting citizens not to share any personal information or respond to suspicious links on WhatsApp or email as it could result in funds being siphoned off from their bank accounts.

Advising the people, Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order), Navdeep Singh Virk said that cyber offenders are using various tactics to dupe money from the bank accounts of gullible citizens by taking advantage of lockdown. The people should exercise maximum caution while handling suspicious emails/other links about COVID-19.

Explaining the modus operandi, Virk informed that these cyber criminals may dupe people by asking them to donate for COVID-19 through fake UPI IDs which are similar to UPI ID used by the Prime Minister’s Citizens Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situation (PM-CARES) Fund. Similarly, they can seek funds through social media by creating fake bank account of COVID-19. It has been advised that people should not transfer money to any unverified account published in social platforms, he added.

Some of the other modus operandi include seeking bank details on the guise of fraudulent schemes on face masks/sanitizers via fake online shopping sites, committing frauds by creating a fake page similar to government websites, offering coronavirus protection kits by online shopping windows and seeking OTP for home delivery of goods.   

“It has also been observed that cyber fraudsters are circulating malware link regarding COVID-19 and steals confidential data including password from the receiver’s phone or computer, as and when opened. People should take necessary precautions while clicking such links on their email or WhatsApp”, added Virk.

He also urged the people not to open any unverified link on social media and avoid sharing OTP sent by unknown numbers as this could lead hackers gaining access to their personal information. At the same time, Cyber Crime Unit is actively working to crackdown on these cyber fraudsters.