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Work from Home (WFH) or Part-time job scams contribute to the highest number of cyber crimes reported in the country followed by illegal lending apps in the year 2023, as per the Indian Cybercrime Coordination Centre (I4C), a part of the Ministry of Home Affairs

Unveiling the Surge: Work-From-Home and Part-Time Job Scams Lead Cyber Crime Charts in India

New Delhi, 2023 – In a startling revelation, the Indian Cybercrime Coordination Centre (I4C), under the Ministry of Home Affairs, highlighted that Work-from-Home (WFH) and Part-time job scams have become the epicenter of cyber crimes in India. CEO of I4C, Rajesh Kumar, addressed the media at the Annual Press Conference, shedding light on the rising wave of digital fraud that gripped the nation in 2023.

Kumar emphasized that scamsters employ diverse tactics, with digital advertisements, online messengers, and bulk SMS serving as their primary channels of approach. The insidious nature of these scams has made them pervasive, with unsuspecting individuals falling prey to the allure of remote work opportunities.

Sextortion Emerges as a Menacing Tool

Among the nefarious methods employed by scamsters, sextortion stands out as a major player. This alarming trend, representing a form of emotional manipulation, has contributed significantly to the surge in cyber crimes. Victims often find themselves coerced into compromising situations, with the threat of exposure acting as the extortionists’ weapon of choice.

Kumar urged the public to remain vigilant, stating, “We request people to avoid getting into such scams. We keep banning and tapping such fraudsters whenever it gets reported.” The battle against illegal lending apps also takes precedence, with these apps emerging as the second most utilized tool by scamsters.

Global Cooperation and App Vigilance

Illegal lending apps, predominantly operating in countries like China, Cambodia, and Myanmar, have prompted international cooperation. The Indian government actively collaborates with other nations, reporting cybercriminal activities and blocking suspicious apps. Kumar revealed, “We have blocked 595 such apps involved in suspicious activities and whitelisted 395 instant loan apps by RBI.”

The proactive approach extends to social media platforms, with reporting of suspicious apps to Google and Facebook. Additionally, mule accounts are flagged to Banks and Fintech, and information about suspicious apps is disseminated through Cyber Dost social media handles.

Customer Care Numbers and Android Malware: Silent Threats

Unveiling the third-largest source of cyber fraud, Kumar highlighted the misuse of Customer Care Numbers and Android malware. In these instances, fake customer care numbers are utilized, or Android malware is installed to stealthily pilfer credentials such as OTPs. This method underscores the adaptability of scamsters in exploiting various avenues for their illicit gains.

Impersonation and sextortion emerged as two more widely-used strategies, contributing to the multifaceted landscape of cyber crimes. Kumar remarked, “WFH is the biggest fraud reported to agencies, while sextortion largely operates from Mewat. It is underreported as victims avoid complaining due to various reasons. This year alone, around 19,000 cases of sextortion were reported.”

As the digital landscape evolves, so do the tactics of cybercriminals. The I4C’s efforts to combat these scams reflect the ongoing battle to secure the online space for all citizens. The call for public awareness and cooperation has never been more critical in the face of this growing threat.

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Prince Barve
Certified Ethical Hacking

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