iPhone 14 scam: On Instagram, scammers use 'Bhai' trick to rob man; Check 3 apps to stay safe | Tech News

iPhone 14 scam: On Instagram, scammers use 'Bhai' trick to rob man; Check 3 apps to stay safe

Ahmedabad man loses 7 lakh to Instagram scammers as fraudsters impersonate 'Bhai' from Dubai, luring victims with promises of a free iPhone 14.

By: MD IJAJ KHAN
| Updated on: Jul 22 2023, 15:28 IST
BEWARE! Here is how NOT to check your PF balance; man loses Rs. 1.23 lakh in scam
Onlie Scam
1/7 In a shocking turn of events, when a man was looking to check his PF balance online, he was caught by fraudsters and lost Rs. 1.23 lakh! (Reuters)
Onlie Scam
2/7 This is how he lost money in this PF balance scam. He was searching for the EPOFO phone number on the Internet, but came across a fake phone number, according to Free Press Journal. He called it and the person there convinced him to download an app that provided the fraudster with remote access to his gadget. He also shared the code for making a payment. Before, the innocent man knew what happened, he had lost the whopping amount of Rs. 1.23 lakh! (Pixabay)
Onlie Scam
3/7 In short, do not check PF balance by searching online and clicking on random links or talking to anyone. Just remember, EPFO will never ask you to make any payment or download any app or even ask you for any payment code or OTP. So, if you want to know how to check PF balance online, we explain it here. (HT_PRINT)
Onlie Scam
4/7 How to check PF balance Via UMANG App - For checking PF Balance via UMANG App, you will first have to download the app and then log in by entering your UAN and OTP (one-time password) to check the PF account balance. (UMANG Twitter)
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5/7 How to check PF balance Via Text Message – EPFO members whose UANs are registered with EPFO can check their PF balance by sending a text message (SMS) to 7738299899 by typing 'EPFOHO UAN ENG' using your registered mobile number with the UAN (Universal Account Number). It can be noted that the last three digits of the message represents the language in which you want to receive the message. (Pixabay)
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6/7 How to check PF balance Via Missed Call – Members also have the option of checking the PF balance via call. Registered users can give a missed call to 011-22901406 from their UAN registered mobile number after which they will receive an SMS with details of the PF account balance. (Unsplash)
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7/7 How to check PF balance Via EPFO website - Visit the EPFO portal www.epfindia.gov.in and click on the ‘For Employees’ option under the ‘Our Services’ dropdown menu. Click on 'Member Passbook' and enter your UAN and password. Once you do so you will be able to see your passbook. It can be noted that people who have worked in more than one organisation will have different member IDs to choose from. (MINT_PRINT)
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icon View all Images
iPhone 14 scam: On Instagram, scammers use 'Bhai from Dubai' trick to rob man of 7 lakh. (Pixabay)

India is facing a growing threat from cybercriminals who exploit virtual numbers with the +92 country code, often associated with Pakistan, to carry out fraudulent activities. Recently, a new online scam has emerged, where scammers impersonate the so-called 'Bhai' from Dubai, enticing unsuspecting individuals with promises of attractive rewards like a free iPhone 14. One such victim, Virag Doshi, a 24-year-old businessman from Ahmedabad, fell prey to this deceitful scheme.

Rising Trend of Virtual Number Exploitation

It all began when Doshi received a message on his Instagram account, claiming he had won a free iPhone 14 from 'Bade Bhai and Chhote Bhai.' Eager to get his hands on the expensive device, he paid a small fee of 3,000 as instructed through UPI. Soon after, he received a call from a +92 country code number, with the caller posing as 'Bade Bhai' from Dubai, confirming the prize and claiming it was ready for delivery, TOI reported.

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Elated by the news, Doshi eagerly waited for the arrival of the iPhone 14, but things took an alarming turn when someone called 'Sanjay Sharma' rang him up, asking for an additional 8,000 for the delivery. Naively trusting the scammers, he paid the amount, only to find that he never received the promised gifts.

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The Aftermath and Widespread Nature of the Scam

A devastating discovery soon followed – Doshi's bank account had been debited by a staggering 6.76 lakh between April 18 and May 7. Unbeknownst to him, the scammers had emptied his account, leaving him devastated.

A Call to Vigilance and Awareness

The Dhandhuka police inspector, P N Zinzuwadia, revealed that Doshi unknowingly transferred the money to the scammers himself, unaware of the large sums involved. The fraudsters utilised virtual numbers to carry out their deceitful acts.

This alarming trend of virtual number fraud is not limited to India alone but has also spread to other places, causing concern among law enforcement agencies. The cyber cell of CID (crime) has reported numerous similar cases nationwide, where scammers impersonate 'Bade Bhai and Chhote Bhai' from a reputed Dubai shop to entice victims with free or discounted iPhones.

Here are 3 apps that can help you stay vigilant from online scams

1. Fraud Alert by CERT-In (Indian Computer Emergency Response Team)

This app provides real-time alerts about online scams and phishing attacks. It also has a database of known scam websites and phone numbers.

2. mSafe by National Cyber Security Awareness Programme (NCSAP)

This app helps you stay safe online by providing information about cyber security threats and tips on how to protect yourself. It also has a panic button that you can use to alert the authorities if you are being harassed online.

3. Anti-Phishing App by Google

This app helps you identify and avoid phishing websites. It works by scanning websites for known phishing patterns.

In addition to these apps, you can also stay safe online by following these tips:

1. Be careful about what information you share online. Don't share your personal information, such as your phone number, email address, or bank account details, with people you don't know.

2. Be suspicious of emails and text messages that ask for your personal information. These emails and text messages may be from scammers trying to steal your information.

3. Only download apps from trusted sources. Don't download apps from third-party websites or app stores.

4. Keep your software up to date. Software updates often include security patches that can help protect you from malware and other threats.

5. Never believe claims of free gifts from strangers and don't ever make online payments to them without verifying their antecedents properly.

To combat cybercrime, it's crucial for individuals to stay vigilant and cautious when dealing with unknown calls and offers. Awareness and informed decisions are essential in protecting oneself from falling prey to such fraudulent schemes. By following these tips, you can help protect yourself from online scams.

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First Published Date: 22 Jul, 09:21 IST
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