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Fake Railway App Costs Senior Citizen Rs 4 Lakh



Fake Railway App Costs Senior Citizen Rs 4 Lakh

In a distressing incident that highlights the growing threat of cybercrimes, a 78-year-old man from Kerala, M Mohammed Bashir, fell victim to a deceptively simple-looking scam, losing a staggering Rs 4 lakh to cybercriminals. The intricate web of deception began innocently when he attempted to cancel a train ticket via the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) website.

Baited by a Fake Portal: A Senior Citizen’s Unfortunate Ordeal

Mr. Bashir, a resident of Kozhikode Vandipetta, had simply sought to cancel a train ticket due to a change in his travel plans. Unbeknownst to him, this simple task would lead him down a treacherous path. He received a call from an individual posing as a railway official, who conversed fluently in both English and Hindi. Falling victim to the imposter’s persuasive tactics, Bashir was directed to download a mobile application named ‘Rest Desk’.

ALSO READ: IRCTC Sounds Alarm on Phishing Attack via Fake Rail Connect App

Deceptive Application Paves the Way for Financial Loss

The fake railway official skillfully guided Mr. Bashir through the process of downloading and installing the ‘Rest Desk’ app on his smartphone. Little did he know, this seemingly harmless action granted the fraudsters unrestricted access to his mobile device. Within a short span of time, Mr. Bashir received notifications indicating substantial withdrawals from his savings account. Alarmed and distressed, he rushed to his bank, only to discover that a staggering Rs 4 lakh had been siphoned off from his fixed deposit.

Persistent Scammers Block Victim’s Attempts to Seek Help

As the scam unfolded, the fraudsters continued to manipulate Mr. Bashir by repeatedly calling him from different phone numbers. When he attempted to alert his bank after the initial withdrawal, the scammers thwarted his efforts. In a bid to protect himself from further data breaches, Mr. Bashir took the drastic step of formatting his phone and promptly reported the incident to both his bank and the police department’s cyber cell.

ALSO READ: Step By Step Guide: How To File Cybercrime Complaints Online In India 

Investigation Reveals Multi-Step Scam and Geographical Connections

The subsequent investigation uncovered the intricate mechanics of the scam. Mr. Bashir had unwittingly downloaded the ‘Rest Desk’ app, granting the criminals a gateway into his phone. The ill-gotten money was withdrawn in four separate transactions, totaling Rs 4,05,919. Law enforcement authorities suspect the culprits to be linked to individuals hailing from the states of Bengal and Bihar.

IRCTC’s Cautionary Warning and Widespread Mobile App Campaigns

The incident serves as a stark reminder of the pervasive threat posed by cybercriminals. The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has issued warnings to users about fake mobile app campaigns. Fraudsters are employing phishing schemes, distributing counterfeit versions of the IRCTC Rail Connect mobile app through popular messaging platforms like WhatsApp and Telegram.

ALSO READ: Deepfake Nightmare: Sextortionists Resort To Morphed Dead Videos Of Girls For Higher Ransom

Counterfeit App’s Deceptive Appearance and Security Risks

The fake IRCTC app, meticulously designed to mirror the appearance of the official app, has ensnared many unsuspecting victims. The counterfeit app, however, lacks the robust security features of the genuine IRCTC app. It acts as a tool for extracting personal and financial information, thereby putting users at risk of financial loss and identity theft.

This unfortunate incident serves as a stark reminder of the urgent need for increased cybersecurity awareness among the public. As cybercrimes become more sophisticated and deceptive, individuals must remain vigilant and exercise caution when engaging with digital platforms and sharing sensitive information.


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