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Netizens getting duped by hoax success reports

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Are you interested in the success story of a Thiruvananthapuram-based homemaker who is making $7,000 per month through online trade? Then your search would end up in a trai

Published: 17th January 2012 06:09 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 06:16 PM   |  A+A-

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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Are you interested in the success story of a Thiruvananthapuram-based homemaker who is making $7,000 per month through online trade? Then your search would end up in a training site for online trading, where any unskilled person can make thousands of dollars per month.  

This is just one of the several stories of online fraud to lure your attention. Hacking of mail, Twitter and Facebook accounts are not news anymore. Interestingly, fraudsters are coming up with attractive stories to lure their prey. In the latest version, spoof reports are ‘localised’ to make it more attractive.

The spam message about business options in 2012 circulated through a hacked Twitter account takes one to a website named www.consumerwarningsreport.com. The website, interestingly, carries an ‘investigative report’ on online trading where they claim the story of Thiruvananthapuram-based Susan Bekham is ‘not a scam’.  

The story elaborates on how Susan, a mother of three, is making $6,000-7,000 by working for just 10 to 13 hours a week.

Interestingly, a user from a different location would see Susan Bekham as a homemaker belonging to their place. A person from Chennai would know her as one from Chennai.  These moneymaking stories are spiced up ‘investigation reports’ and even ‘testimonials’ from individuals and reputed news organisations such as the CNN, MSNBC, CBC News, etc.  

A click on any of this would be redirected to an online trading site, where they would entice one with a limited space for registration. Those who find it as a good option to mint money would surrender their credit card details, personal information and some amount for registration.

The spam mails nowadays are more personalised and even carry stories which could easily cheat people. Facebook and Twitter profiles get hacked while using third party applications.

According to Vinayakumaran Nair, DySP, HiTech Cell, cases of online fraud are rising. “People must be aware of such messages. It is better to avoid such mails,” he said.

It is hard for a normal internet user to recognise it as a phishing site. According to Cyber safety experts, a reputable transactional website would have contact information, including company names, their registered business name (‘inc’, ‘llc’, ‘plc’, ‘ltd’ etc.), a physical address, a mailing address, an e-mail address or contact form and a phone number. A phishing site would have few links in Google.



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