These WhatsApp chats duped Serum Institute of Rs. 1 crore; check 5 tips to avoid online scams | How-to

These WhatsApp chats duped Serum Institute of Rs. 1 crore; check 5 tips to avoid online scams

Fraudsters posing as SII CEO Adar Poonawalla sent WhatsApp messages asking his staffer to transfer money to certain bank accounts. And he did!

| Updated on: Sep 11 2022, 19:18 IST
WhatsApp Quick Replies: Create shortcut for messages NOW! Know steps
1/5 WhatsApp users can now use a feature called quick replies to create shortcuts for the messages you send to your contacts most frequently. This can include media messages, such as images and videos. It can be noted that the maximum number of stored quick replies allowed is 50. (Pixabay)
2/5 How to create quick replies: It can be noted that in order to set quick replies, you need to have a WhatsApp Business app. Then tap More options, Business tools, Quick replies. Then tap on Add and click Message to create your desired message. Tap shortcut to set the keyboard shortcut for your quick reply and then click on SAVE. (Pixabay)
3/5 How to see default replies: In order to see default replies you will have to open a chat, tap Message, and type "/", or tap Attach then Quick Replies. (REUTERS)
image caption
4/5 How to use quick replies as an attachment: Open a chat, Tap Attach > Quick Replies. Select the desired quick reply. The message will automatically appear in the text input field. Edit the message, or simply tap Send. (Reuters)
5/5 How to use quick replies from the text input field: Open a chat, tap Message, then type "/". This will pull up all your quick replies, including default replies. Select the desired quick reply. The message will automatically appear in the text input field. Edit the message, or simply tap Send. (Reuters)
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Know how WhatsApp messages led Serum Institute to lose Rs. 1 crore to fraudsters. (REUTERS)

No matter how conscious and aware we are about cybercrime and online scams, fraudsters come up with new ways of fooling people and now even companies. As per the latest information, vaccine maker Serum Institute of India (SII) has been duped of more than Rs. 1 crore in a shocking online scam. The company received messages asking to transfer money from fraudsters in the name of the Chief Executive Officer Adar Poonawalla.

The development was confirmed by Pune Police and an official of Bundgarden police station informed that the fraud unfolded between the afternoons of Wednesday and Thursday. While senior inspector Pratap Mankar informed that a First Information Report (FIR) for cheating and offences under the Information Technology Act has been registered against unidentified persons.

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How fraudsters duped SII

According to the information provided in the FIR, WhatsApp messages were sent to Satish Deshpande, one of the directors of the SII, from a person who posed as Adar Poonawalla. The sender asked the director of the company to transfer money to certain bank accounts immediately.

Believing that the messages were sent by the CEO of the company, officials transferred Rs. 1,01,01,554 online. However, it was later realised that no WhatsApp messages were sent by Poonawalla. Investigation was going on, said inspector Mankar, according to a report by Live Mint. The police further added that the accused who sent the WhatsApp messages and the ones who hold the bank account into which the transfers were made are yet to be identified and nabbed.

While WhatsApp scams involving such big sums are rare, users should know that fraudsters are luring on the app looking to steal money on a daily basis by duping them with similar plans. The sums can involve tens of thousands of rupees to even lakhs.

How to stay safe from cyber frauds

Step 1:

If you receive WhatsApp messages from an unknown number claiming to be someone you know, always confirm the identity.

Step 2:

Crosscheck the authentication of the source from where you are receiving the messages or emails.

Step 3:

Never scan a QR code without fully confirming its source.

Step 4:

Do not share your bank account username or password details with anyone. Not even those who claim to be calling you from the bank. No bank will ever ask for these details.

Step 5:

Do not click on any link sent by strangers. It can lead to fake websites of various banks or social media sites and they dupe you into revealing your passwords.

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First Published Date: 11 Sep, 11:35 IST