In the global health crisis situation of Covid-19, cyber criminals are now targeting corona warriors. Digital scamsters are duping gullible doctors, nurses, health workers on the pretext of giving discount and concession in cabs and other services but are actually trying to get deep into bank accounts.
In a recent case in Kolkata, a doctor – Asis Jana working at a Bowbazar hospital was conned to the tune of Rs 20,000. The doctor who was a frequent user of app-based taxi services received a call from a person who identified himself as an executive of a cab agitator. The caller said as he was a doctor the company is giving him a special discount for being a corona warrior. He then shared the link to avail the attractive discount and asked for the OTP. As soon the process was done Rs 20,000 was siphoned off from the doctor’s account.
Similarly, another doctor Pragati Sharma from Kolkata was duped of Rs 1 lakh. In her complaint to Bowbazar police, she said that conman cheated her by impersonating as a customer care executive of a cab company. The caller offered an attractive discount and share the OTP following which Rs 1 lakh was deducted from her account.
Such cases are being reported from across India where cyber criminals are targeting the heroes during the pandemic. Law enforcement agencies and cyber experts have warned that during coronavirus pandemic, cyber attackers are also busy writing malicious mails, messages and websites disguised as health advisories.
Recently, the CBI was alerted by Interpol about a banking Trojan known as Cerberus. This malicious software impersonates links from a legitimate source and tricks users into installing it on smartphones. Some of the common methods used by these cyber criminals to target Covid warriors include sending fake documents, like health advisories, Covid response documents and e-books, in the name of reputable sources like the government and World Health Organization, creating malicious websites or applications related to Covid, like maps and real-time Covid tracking apps, and running spam campaigns for selling masks, sanitizers and Covid vaccines.
Both Delhi and Maharashtra police have seen a spike in cyber crime cases and have issued advisory warning people of such fraudulent activities.