Cyber crime fraud hacking
Representative photo.

Dimapur: The Nagaland police on Thursday issued an advisory urging the citizens to be alert about the various cyber frauds and crimes prevalent in the state.

They have also been advised to remain vigilant and careful at all times.

Superintendent of police (crime) and PRO, police headquarters Nagaland, through a press release, said one recent fraud experienced in the country and now in the state is phishing calls from scammers posing as customer care executives from Vodafone, Airtel and Jio and offering assistance for upgrading 4G SIMs to 5G to unsuspecting customers.

The fraudsters send links in the name of 5G of telecom companies and ask for sharing personal and banking information or OTPs.

“If you open the link, there is a risk of hacking the phone,” police said. 

Another common fraud and still frequently used by criminals are hacking of personal accounts of popular social media apps like Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp, and use of the hacked accounts for fraudulent purposes like asking for money, soliciting investments, bitcoins from their contact lists and siphoning money from accounts of unsuspecting victims.

Similar to this is the “boss/friend impersonation scam” where fraudsters steal the identity and photos of the victims available on the internet and access the victims’ friends from websites or contact list and send them messages asking for help in the form of money transfer, merchant cards, e-wallets etc.

Police also highlighted some other common frauds such as fake customer care calls, sextortion, fake lottery wins etc. that are still active.

The fake customer care calls from banks regarding KYC updation or debit card expiry ask for bank account details and OTPs after which money is withdrawn from the victim’s account.

These fake calls can also impersonate common payment apps like Google Pay, PayTm, PhonePe etc.

In sextortion, unsuspecting male or female victims accept video calls and messages from unknown numbers and are blackmailed for money after recording and morphing or misusing their pictures.

Fake lottery wins, loan or insurance sanction, scratch card coupons, investment opportunity, jobs, electricity bill etc. are also commonly used to scam innocent victims.

The police have requested the public to remain cautious and vigilant and not be duped by such scams.

The fraudsters are experienced scammers and take extra efforts to appear genuine and operate through multiple identities, accounts, phone numbers etc.

The police also asked the citizens to maintain strict cyber security habits and practices and never click on unverified links received through SMS, WhatsApp, Instagram etc.

In case of financial fraud, the public has been asked to immediately call cyber crime helpline number 1930 and register complaints at www.cybercrime.gov.in.

Bhadra Gogoi

Bhadra Gogoi is Northeast Now Correspondent in Nagaland. He can be reached at: bhadragogoi@yahoo.com