Cyber criminals target those who post personal details

Sunil Pradhan
Wednesday, 14 June 2017

With most cyber criminals using social engineering techniques, Sakal Times looks at the latest methods used by fraudsters

PUNE: On March 8, this year, an officer of the Cyber Crime Cell (CCC) of the city police arrested a 28-year-old man, Shivprasad Madgi from Bidar in Karnataka for duping 63 people who had sought solutions from a consumer grievance website. The victims shared details like phone numbers and names and accordingly the accused would call them up. The victims assumed that the person talking was genuine and shared their bank details only to find later that money was withdrawn from their bank accounts. 

Prakash Dnyandev Jambhale (50), resident of Ganesh Nagar lodged a complaint in this case at Dighi police station on March 2, 2017. Jambhale was getting Rs 121 less in his pension amount for two months. So he filed an online complaint on a portal on February 4, 2017. Soon, he got a call on his cellphone from a person claiming to be a staffer of “complaint board”. The person spoke to Jambhale politely and sought his debit card details. Jambhale gave confidential information about his debit card. After sometime, he found that Rs 45,158 was withdrawn from his bank account.  

In another case, Diptesh Prakashji Salecha (23) from Rajasthan was arrested by officials of CCC for allegedly hacking into the WhatsApp account of 15 girls and requesting money from the victims’ friends.

Diptesh would cook up excuses and request money. The fraud came to light when the friends of the victims asked for repayment. Diptesh first made a fake profile of a girl on Facebook and started chatting with other girls. Later, he took their phone numbers and hacked their WhatsApp accounts. After hacking the WhatsApp account he requested the victims’ friends for money.

The above cases are situations where cyber crooks have used their social engineering skills and cheat others. Cyber experts say that with the rise in number of social media platforms there is more information available about an individual, which makes the person more vulnerable to cyber crimes. 

Senior Police Inspector Radhika Phadke  of CCC said people are sharing everything on social media sites without thinking the damage it might do. “Cyber criminals are using digital footprints of people to scam them. There is need of more awareness about such crimes,” added Phadke.

Cyber expert Harold D’Costa said social media sites help cyber criminals collect information. “Sites liked LinkedIn have lot of information about a person. There is need to improve cyber hygiene in people. I have seen people adding people they do not know, which can later cause harm,” he said. 

Cyber expert Anil Raj said people have to share personal information like Pan, Aadhaar on various Internet platforms. “Many websites are prone to data theft which is a boon for cyber crooks,” added Raj.

- Reduce your digital footprint by deleting details on the net when not in use.
- Training and awareness: an efficient training programme should consist of all security policies and methods to increase awareness about social engineering. Mock drills for social engineering attacks should be done.
- Operational guidelines: Ensure security of sensitive information and authorised use of resources.   (Source: Cyber experts) 

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