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Be wary, cyber online fraudsters

 Be wary, cyber online fraudsters

Hyderabad: Stating that cybercrime has surged amidst the unprecedented Coronavirus lockdown, the Cyberabad Police issued an advisory, saying that cybercriminals were attacking computer networks and systems of individuals, businesses and even global organizations at a time when cyber defences might be lowered due to the shift of focus to the health crisis.

The frauds were of different modes, the police said, adding that malware, spyware and Trojans have been found embedded in interactive Coronavirus maps and websites. Spam emails are also tricking users into clicking on links which download malware to their computers or mobile devices.

Malicious domains

There are a considerable number of registered domains on the Internet that contain the terms: “coronavirus”, “corona-virus”, “covid19” and “covid-19”. While some are legitimate websites, cybercriminals are creating thousands of new sites every day to carry out spam campaigns, phishing or to spread malware.


Hospitals, medical centres and public institutions are being targeted by cybercriminals for ransomware attacks since they are overwhelmed with the health crisis and cannot afford to be locked out of their systems the criminals believe they are likely to pay the ransom.

The exploitation of the PM Cares Fund has already been written about a lot, with police once again reminding the public that the fund’s UPI (Unified Payments Interface) ID was [email protected]

Cyberabad cops

Know who is WHO

If you are contacted by a person or organisation claiming to be from the World Health Organisation (WHO), verify their authenticity before responding. The World Health Organization will never ask for your username or password to access safety information.

Loan moratorium fraud

Fraudsters are also posing as bank representatives and are informing people that their lenders are giving a moratorium on the loan and the borrower won’t need to pay two EMIs, as per the Reserve Bank of India’s directives. In the process, they can trick borrowers into sharing their bank details and then steal money from their accounts.

Behind the masks

Cybercriminals have also set up fake e-commerce websites selling face masks and sanitisers. “The website may look like original e-commerce marketplace. However, the items never get delivered, and the site is shut down after a while,” the police said.

Fake links and websites, with emails and mobile messages saying the government is releasing funds to help citizens are also galore. A ‘Free Netflix Scam’ is also around, with fraudsters claiming to provide free services such as Netflix subscription for the entire lockdown period.

As soon as the person clicks on the link or attachment, the malware is installed on the computer or the mobile phone.

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