With a spike in instances of cybercrime across the State, police have been taking several measures to effectively crack such cases. They are also working to raise awareness to prevent people from being targeted by cyber fraudsters who have been using advanced and sophisticated methods to dupe the gullible. In a conversation with Priya Rathnam, ACP KVM Prasad, who heads the Cyber Crime Unit of Hyderabad police, shares some tips on how to use the internet safely.
What are some important points to ensure safe internet browsing?
People, especially the youth, regularly use the internet these days. Cybercriminals are always fishing for gullible people to fall into their net. We strongly discourage accepting friend requests from strangers or interacting with sexually appealing advertisements to lure young boys. We have witnessed instances where young boys were lured into appearing nude in video calls while conmen on the other side keep recording it. They use such clips to blackmail and extort money from them. Youngsters must be cautious while using the internet.
What are other ways through which these online criminals target people?
There are so many ways the fraudsters can target people, for example, by asking for OTPs, sending phishing URLs, and fake customer care numbers. These are usually directed at elderly people. The criminals call them and ask for bank, KYC and other details while pretending to be officials. Victims assume that the person on the other side is helping them and end up sharing the necessary information. They use these details to siphon funds from the victim’s accounts.
Another way used by the conmen to target the victims is matrimonial fraud. They specifically target widows and divorcees. Posing as foreign nationals, they take money from the victims by telling them that they are stuck with customs officials and unable to reach their destination.
Sometimes, they also send gifts to the victims to win their trust.