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Haryana Fraudsters Use Screen-Sharing, Facebook Ads, WFH Opportunities to Target Victims



Haryana Fraudsters Use Screen-Sharing, Facebook Ads, WFH Opportunities to Target Victims

GURGAON: In a major breakthrough, law enforcement authorities have successfully dismantled a notorious cyber fraud gang operating out of Nuh district. The gang, which had defrauded over 28,000 individuals across the nation, was finally apprehended on April 28, 2023. The staggering amount amassed through their illicit activities is estimated to be a staggering Rs 100 crore.

The gang employed a range of deceptive techniques to target unsuspecting victims, including screen-sharing, Facebook advertisements, and false work-from-home (WFH) opportunities. By leveraging these strategies, the criminals managed to exploit the trust of their targets and siphon off their hard-earned money.

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In the screen-sharing scam, gang members would initiate contact with victims and convince them to share their computer screens. Once granted access, they would surreptitiously install malicious software capable of pilfering sensitive personal information such as bank account numbers and credit card details.

“Scammers utilize remote access apps to execute their fraudulent activities. They often persuade victims to install legitimate remote access applications under the guise of providing technical support or resolving issues. Once granted remote control, scammers manipulate victims into sharing sensitive information, such as bank details or login credentials. They may also exploit remote access to conduct unauthorized transactions, make online purchases, or gain access to victims’ online banking accounts,” said a senior police officer.

Some scammers create fear by impersonating law enforcement agencies or government bodies to coerce victims into complying with their demands. To protect themselves, individuals should exercise caution, verify the authenticity of support services, and avoid sharing personal or financial information with untrusted sources.

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Another ploy employed by the gang involved the creation of counterfeit Facebook ads promising irresistible deals on popular products like motorbikes, cars, and mobile phones. Unsuspecting individuals who clicked on these ads were redirected to websites cleverly designed to resemble genuine product pages. However, these counterfeit sites were designed with the sole purpose of extracting victims’ personal information.

The fraudsters also preyed on job-seekers by posting enticing WFH opportunities on various social media platforms. Prospective applicants were requested to pay a registration fee, but the promised jobs were entirely fictitious, leaving victims with both dashed hopes and depleted finances.

“Scammers employ a deceptive approach to carry out work-from-home (WFH) scams by sending bulk WhatsApp messages. They typically acquire or generate a vast database of phone numbers and use automated software or services to send these messages in masses. The messages often promise lucrative work-from-home opportunities with attractive benefits and high earning potential. They may claim to offer jobs in various fields such as data entry, online marketing, or affiliate programs,” said an officer.

He explained the scammers lure unsuspecting individuals by highlighting the convenience, flexibility, and financial rewards associated with working from home. To proceed with the scam, they may request an upfront payment or personal information for registration purposes. However, once the payment is made or personal information shared, victims often discover that the promised job does not exist, and they have fallen victim to a fraudulent scheme. It is essential for individuals to exercise caution and verify the authenticity of any WFH opportunities before sharing personal details or making any payments.

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The Nuh police, acting swiftly on credible intelligence, orchestrated a meticulously planned raid that culminated in the arrest of 66 gang members. These individuals now face charges under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Information Technology (IT) Act. During the operation, law enforcement officials successfully seized laptops, mobile phones, and other electronic devices, which are expected to serve as crucial evidence in the ongoing investigation.

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Law enforcement agencies have urged the public to remain vigilant in light of this incident and take necessary precautions to safeguard themselves from cyber fraud. They have provided a list of preventive measures that individuals can adopt to enhance their online security:

  • Exercise caution when sharing personal information, particularly with individuals whom you do not know or trust.
  • Exercise caution when clicking on links contained within emails or social media platforms.
  • Install a reputable antivirus software program on your computer to detect and prevent malware.
  • Regularly update your software to benefit from the latest security patches and enhancements.
  • Maintain a healthy skepticism towards offers that appear too good to be true, as they often serve as bait for fraudulent activities.

In the unfortunate event that you suspect yourself to be a victim of cyber fraud, it is crucial to call cyber helpline number 1930 and report the incident promptly to the police. By doing so, you can play an active role in curbing cybercrime and potentially retrieve your losses. Stay informed, stay alert, and take proactive steps to safeguard your digital well-being.

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