Cyber crooks target NRIs with Whatsapp bait
Posted: Posted Date – 11:09 PM, Fri – 12 Aug 22
Hyderabad: Cyber crooks are now hacking the WhatsApp mobile numbers of Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) and sending money requests to people on their contact lists under the guise of medical emergencies and other needs.
According to the police, this new way of cheating through spoofing and fake WhatsApp accounts was becoming very common with the Cyberabad Cybercrime wing recently receiving regular complaints about it.
“The fraudsters hack into people’s WhatsApp accounts by calling them and collecting WhatsApp registration OTP citing various reasons. Using the compromised or hacked WhatsApp account, they ask people on the contact list for financial assistance by citing emergency medical care or similar reasons,” an official said.
Although local complaints were also coming in, the scammers appeared to be targeting the mobile numbers of those in the UK, UAE and US and then contacting their friends and family in India asking for financial help. . Believing that those who sent them messages were their relatives in other countries, many fell prey to this trick.
According to the police, these cyber crooks send messages from a new number, which contains the profile picture of the victim’s friend or relative, which is one of the easiest ways to convince the victim. Thinking the message is genuine, people end up transferring huge sums of money to bank accounts sent by the scammers.
“Scammers make calls and send messages from anonymous numbers to people on WhatsApp using the profile picture of their close friends or relatives as bait. They start a conversation and make a request to send money for an emergency in the family or for medical expenses. They then extract as much money as possible from the people,” police said.
Once the money is transferred, they stop responding to messages or calls. Cyber crime experts are warning citizens not to share their contact numbers on social media platforms from where scammers steal those numbers and start the whole process of duping others.
“Do not share your personal information or personal photos or videos with anyone. Avoid chatting via WhatsApp with unknown numbers or foreign numbers. Before responding to messages or calls from unknown people, verify who they are,” officials said.