Cyber Fraud Alert: Fake Numbers Uploaded on Google to Dupe People, Tips to Stay Safe & Not Lose Money
Cyber Attack. (Photo Credit: IANS)

Mumbai, November 19: Our lives today literally revolves around Google. The web search engine has formed an indispensable part in our day to day activities. Any doubt or answer to any question gets solved within seconds just by typing it on Google.  It is this dependency that online fraudsters have lately started taking advantage of.

Over the last month, there have been more than three cases reported in Mumbai, where innocent people have been duped by online cheaters with the help of fake phone numbers uploaded on Google. People are losing their hard-earned money every day as the fraudsters devise new techniques and adapt to innovative ways to cheat people. Beware of Fake Users! Things to Keep in Mind While Buying or Selling Things On Sites Like OLX And Quikr.

Case 1:

In the month of October, a man while ordering a wine bottle online, lost Rs 1.25 lakh in a series of three transactions that took place. He called the contact number of Ujwal wines in Andheri, which he got from Google.

The fraudster sweet-talked and got the complainant's credit card details including OTP. The first debit alert was for Rs 31,777, the victim then called on the number of the Ujwal wine shop, and he was told that the amount would be reversed soon.  The next two transactions were of Rs 31,777 and Rs 61,000. Mumbai Cyber Fraud: Man Loses Rs 1.25 Lakh While Ordering Online Wine Bottle From Ujwal Wines in Andheri.

Case 2:

In another recent case, a woman while booking a table for her family at Shiv Sagar restaurant in Santacruz West lost Rs 80,000. The woman in this case as well got the number of the restaurant from Google. She was told to pay a booking fee of Rs 25, which would ensure that her family didn't have to stand in the queue and would get the table. She was asked to make the payment via Google Pay through a link that was shared to her online. The moment she entered her card details, a debit of Rs 85,000 took place in a series of few transactions. Mumbai Cyber Fraud: Woman Loses Rs 85,000 While Booking a Table Online at Shiv Sagar Restaurant in Santacruz West.

Case: 3:

Last week, a Powai man lost Rs 1 lakh when he got the contact details of a shop selling SIM card at a discounted rate from Google. The man lost Rs 99,999 in ten transactions after he entered his card details on the link sent by the fraudster. Cyber Crime in Mumbai: Man Loses Rs 1 Lakh in Fake SIM Card Fraud Case in Powai.

In all the above cases, the modus operandi of the fraudsters remained the same, they are using Google to target people. Here are a few tips on how to stay alert when you are making an online transaction.

Tips to Stay Alert

  • Never click on any unknown links sent by strangers asking to may payment.
  • Don't feed your card details, like CVV and OTP in any of the forms or share it with anyone over the phone.
  • Stay alert while making any transaction, don't fall in trap with people sweet-talking to get personal details from you.
  •  If you are not confident in doing online transactions, always go for cash-on-delivery options.
  • Looking at the number of people being duped by fake numbers uploaded on Google, always cross-check the number before you deal in any kind of a transaction with them.
  • If you are dealing with a restaurant or any popular joints, they will never ask you to make payment via Google Pay for booking a table.
  • Watch out for phishing websites. According to a Kaspersky report, the presence of https and the green lock don't guarantee that a website is safe from all the threats. A phishing site can display all these comforting sites as well. Infact, Phislabs reports that a quarter of all phishing attacks today are carried out on HTTPS sites.

So stay alert and safe, and educate people around you about the different cyber fraud attacks and how they can avoid falling prey to any of the online scams.