Since the coronavirus outbreaks, there has been a spike in digital crime, giving sleepless nights to cyber-crime officers. The Maharashtra Cyber Unit has issued a warning in the wake of a new type of fraud, which originated in Pakistan. According to the consultant, the cybercrime unit in Maharashtra warns people against phishing and fraud calls from Pakistan.
These calls generally start with +92, the calling code for Pakistan. Pakistani scammers are found using Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC) to lure and deceive Indians by offering a cash reward. In fact, it is all planned to make quick money by cheating unsuspecting Indians.
KBC, auto lottery scams
The Maharashtra Cyber unit has found that Pakistani fraudsters are calling random people in India and telling them they won an award from KBC. The scam typical used by these scammers shows a photo of KBC host Amitabh Bachchan with a phone number to call for a cash reward of Rs. 25. The message comes to apps like WhatsApp and Google Duo and the contact uses the KBC logo as a contact photo and asks the recipient to call back at the head office number.
When an unwanted user calls the number, he requests a relatively small processing fee that is paid to a bank account to claim prize money. In some cases, fraudsters may even request personal financial details on the call, which can be misused for their gain.
To build confidence, fraudsters share office photos, cash packages and more. After receiving bank details or processing fees, they simply block the user.
In a similar trick, a fraudster from Pakistan will tell users they got a new car as a prize. But in order to move the car, which requires crossing the country’s borders, the user will need to pay advance fees for their use in fuel, transit and freight charges. Once the payment is made, the number will be blocked.
How do you keep you safe?
The dubious approach, it seems, may work for some suspicious person. The Maharashtra Cyber Unit has warned users not to answer calls or messages from numbers starting with +92. Other precautions that must be followed carefully are:
- Never share personal information or sensitive banking details over calls
- It is impossible to win cash prizes without participating in the raffle
- No competition or award requires payment of processing fees or prepayment to claim the bonus
- Never click on suspicious links from unknown numbers or emails
- Check the number you receive from using caller id apps like Truecaller
- Make sure WhatsApp privacy is set up to view your DP, status and the last time your contacts were seen
- Report any spam calls displaying the international calling code to 1963 or 1800-110-420