Man loses Rs. 4 lakh in IRCTC ticket scam; Know how to stay safe | Tech News

Man loses Rs. 4 lakh in IRCTC ticket scam; Know how to stay safe

Man's attempt to cancel train tickets on IRCTC website turns into a Rs. 4 lakh scam; fraudsters exploit device control and banking information.

| Updated on: Aug 13 2023, 13:28 IST
SBI online fraud warning! Top 5 action points to avoid cybercrime
Online scam
1/5 Unified Payments Interface (UPI) based apps like Google Pay, Paytm, PhonePe, among others are being used by people to make online payments, recharges, among others. With this in mind, here we list a number of online payment tips that you need to keep in mind to stay protected from frauds. (Saumya Khandelwal/HT PHOTO)
Online scam
2/5 Falling prey to digital frauds can cause huge financial losses. Recently the State Bank of India (SBI) has revealed certain measures to its customers which can be used to avoid online frauds. SBI has said that people need to enter UPI PIN only while making online payment. (Reuters)
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3/5 UPI PIN is required only for transfer of money and not for receiving. Always verify the mobile number, name and UPI ID before sending any money. (Pixabay)
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4/5 Never share UPI PIN with anyone. The scanner should preferably be used for fund transfer. (Bloomberg)
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5/5 Do not seek resolution from other than official sources. Use App's help section for any payment or technical issue and in case of any discrepancy seek resolution through Bank's Complaint Resolution portal. (Mint/HT)
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Elderly man loses 4 lakh in train ticket scam, falls victim to online fraud. (Pexels)

A 78-year-old man, M. Mohammed Basheer of Kozhikode Vandipetta, attempted to cancel an IRCTC ticket, but fell prey to a cunning scam, resulting in a loss of Rs. 4 lakhs. Basheer unknowingly accessed a fake website where a person posing as a railway employee reached out to him.

This imposter communicated with Basheer in both English and Hindi, guiding him to perform actions on his device, leading to the appearance of a blue emblem on his screen, which indicated the device was now under the scammer's control. Basheer, following the instructions, provided his bank account details and ATM card number, opening the door to further exploitation.

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Malware Intrusion and Financial Breach

The scam may have involvedmalware installation on Basheer's device, allowing the scammer remote access or other software that allow remote control of devices. Keyloggers could have captured sensitive information, while spyware may have discreetly tracked his actions and collected data. Basheer's realization of the scam occurred when he received a message notifying him of money being withdrawn from his savings account.

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Throughout the ordeal, the scammers maintained contact with Basheer via three distinct phone numbers. His attempts to reach out to the bank were thwarted, leaving him helpless. As a countermeasure, Basheer wiped his phone to forestall further data breaches and reported the incident to both the bank and the police's cyber cell.

App Download and Multiple Withdrawals

An investigation by the police's cyber cell unearthed that the fraudulent app 'Rest Desk' facilitated the scammers' access to Basheer's phone. In a series of transactions, Rs. 4,05,919 was debited from Kolkata. The phone numbers linked to the scammers have raised suspicions of connections to individuals from Bengal and Bihar.

Basheer, a former Senior Engineer in Muscat, expressed his disbelief at the speed with which the scammers executed their scheme, despite his efforts to safeguard his finances.

The incident serves as a cautionary tale highlighting the importance of online security awareness, especially for vulnerable individuals like the elderly, and the need to remain vigilant against sophisticated scams.

Here are 5 ways to safeguard yourself from online scams:

1. Ensure you keep your smartphone's software up-to-date, including security updates, web browsers, and the operating system. This helps protect against viruses, malware, and other malicious threats.

2. Create a strong password with a minimum of 8 characters, including a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, special characters, and numbers. Never write it down or share it with others.

3. Avoid clicking on links from unknown senders. These links could be part of phishing scams, designed to trick you into revealing sensitive account information.

4. Treat social media as a platform for fun and avoid sharing serious information like usernames and passwords. Cybercriminals can often target these details, even from private messages (DMs).

5. Refrain from posting personal birthday information, not just yours but also of family, friends, and colleagues, on social media. This information can be exploited by hackers for malicious purposes.

6.  Do not speak to the strangers and never allow anyone to get remote control of your gadget, especially when it comes to money. And remember, IRCTC will never call you for any such purpose.

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First Published Date: 13 Aug, 11:59 IST