Cyber crooks trap healthcare workers

Official says rise in frauds related to KYC, with most victims being doctor

By   |  Published: 9th Aug 2020  12:03 amUpdated: 8th Aug 2020  10:17 pm
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Hyderabad: Even while exploiting the fear of Covid-19 among the public, fraudsters have now begun training their guns on health professionals including doctors, nurses and other emergency staff as well.

The situation, which has seen several health professionals lose lakhs of rupees from their accounts, has prompted Cyberabad Police Commissioner VC Sajjanar to ask people to have a separate phone number for bank accounts and cash transactions.

According to officials, ever since the lockdown began, there has been an increase in complaints lodged with the Cyberabad Cybercrime police station related to ‘Know Your Customer’ frauds, with the victims being mostly doctors and healthcare professionals.

“As doctors and health personnel are busy in treating Covid-19 patients, these cyber fraudsters are exploiting the pressure on them to make them share their bank and card details. The victims, who are unaware of the trap, end up losing their money,” Sajjanar said, adding that most of these cyber fraudsters were found to be based in Jamtara district of Jharkhand.

Officials said the fraudsters were instructing victims to download different remote access applications like Team Viewer – Quick Support App, Any Desk App and Inkwire App among others onto their phones so that they could fraudulently access their mobile phones and withdraw money from their bank accounts.

“Sometimes fraudsters are sending phishing links to their targets and cheating them to the tune of lakhs of rupees,” a cybercrime official said.

Cybercrime experts said a separate SIM card should be kept for all bank transactions and that the account details should not be shared with anyone.

“The caller usually pretends to be a bank representative or someone from the bank’s technical team. In most cases, the caller sounds professional and provides a convincing reason for calling the customer. After giving a false sense of security, the caller tricks the victim into sharing personal and confidential data,” officials said.

Officials advised health professionals not to believe in calls or SMSes asking for updating KYC details of their Paytm accounts or any other accounts. The Paytm firm or any bank for that matter, will never call any customer or send SMSes for updating KYC details, they said.

“Doctors and healthcare personnel at hospitals who have Paytm accounts are requested to read the instructions given in ‘Account Safety Tips’ on the Paytm website,” they said, adding that in case of any suspicious call or fraud, they could contact the Cybercrime police station by writing to [email protected], or calling on 9490617310, or WhatsApp on 9490617444 or by posting a complaint on the national cybercrime reporting portal, www.cybercrime.gov.in.


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