Ever since the coronavirus outbreak, the onset of digital crime has given cybercrime officers sleepless nights. The Maharashtra Cyber Unit issued a warning in the wake of a new type of fraud, the rise of which is in Pakistan. As per the advice, the Maharashtra Cyber Crime Unit warns people about phishing and lottery fraud calls from Pakistan.
These calls usually start with the Pakistani country coding +92. Pakistani fraudsters have been seen using the reputation of Kaun Banega Millionaire (KBC) to lure Indians and defraud them through cash prizes. In fact, all the plans to get quick cash by cheating useless Indians.
KBC, car lottery fraud
The Maharashtra Cyber Unit found that Pakistani fraudsters were calling random people in India to say that they had received an award from KBC. The sample forgery message used by these scammers shows a picture of KBC host Amitabh Bachchan demanding a cash reward of Rs 25 lakh along with a phone number. The message comes in applications like WhatsApp and Google Dove and the contact uses the KBC logo as the contact picture and asks the recipient to call the head office number.
When an unsuspecting user called the number, they asked for a relatively small processing fee in a bank account to claim the prize money. In some cases, fraudsters may even want to know the personal financial details for the call, which can be misused for their profit.
To build trust, fraudsters share office photos, cash bundles, and more. They only block the user after receiving banking details or processing fees.
In a similar vein, a fraudster in Pakistan will tell users that they have received a new car as a reward. However, in order to transport the vehicle, which is required to cross the state border, the user has to pay an advance fee for use in fuel, toll and freight routes. The number will be blocked as soon as the payment is made.
How to stay safe?
As suspicious of the approach it turns out, they could work with some careless people. The Maharashtra Cyber Unit has warned users not to respond to calls or messages from numbers starting with +92. Other precautions to follow strictly are:
- Never share personal information or sensitive banking details over the phone
- It is impossible to win the prize money without taking part in the lucky draw
- You do not need to pay any processing fee or advance payment to claim a prize for a contest or prize.
- Never click on suspicious links from unknown numbers or emails
- Verify the number you got using Caller ID application like Truecaller
- Confirm your WhatsApp privacy settings so that your DP, status, and most recently only your contacts will be visible
- Report an unwanted call showing an international calling code on 1963 or 1800-110-420