- Loreni Tsanglao, NET Correspondent, Nagaland
Nagaland Police re-cautions the public against the various cyber frauds and crimes with the following Modus Operandi prevalent in the State.
Theft of identity and photos of the victims, often of well-known persons, which is openly available on the internet and social media, ie., Facebook. WhatsApp and Instagram, etc., by fraudsters and accessing the contacts and mobile numbers of friends, colleagues, etc., from the official websites/contact list. The fraudsters then send phishing messages through WhatsApp, and Facebook. Instagram, etc., asking the victim’s friends, and colleagues, for help in the form of money transfers, common merchant card purchases, e-wallet transfers, etc. They may also solicit and recommend some fraudulent apps requiring the transfer and deposit of money.
Extortion or blackmailing/extortion of victims by contact/communication through the Facebook chat, WhatsApp. etc. Generally, the victim is convinced or persuaded to chat, video chat, or exchange photos through social media.
The conversation or video may or may not be of sexual or of compromising nature and the scamsters resort to morphing their pictures and superimposing compromising pictures to harass and threaten the victims with dire consequences. The fraudsters are professionals and try to overwhelm the victims through various aggressive tactics and language. Some victims, out of alarm, make payments through various online payment apps, UPIs, etc.
Meanwhile, the Bitcoin scam is where potential victims are lured to invest/buy Bitcoins by fraudsters who entice the victims by sending messages, and links and also by hacking the social media accounts of friends of the victim and making it seem like their friends are endorsing the particular Bitcoin.
The Fake Online Shopping Apps and shopping Pages/Accounts in popular social media platforms. The fraudsters lure the victims by offering attractive offers/discounts through their pages. After the victims make the payment, the delivery is not made.
The general public is again being made aware of the widespread operation of such cyber fraudsters and is advised to remain vigilant and not be duped by such scams. The fraudsters are professionals and take extra effort to appear genuine. They operate through multiple identities, accounts, phone numbers, etc.
As reiterated earlier, Nagaland Police appeals to the general public not to transfer money without completely verifying the authenticity of the account, be it through bank transfer, easy money transfer Apps, UPIs, e-Wallets, etc., and not to accept requests from strangers without verification, no matter how genuine and attractive they may appear, and not to fall for advertisements or links for Bitcoins, Online Game Prizes/Gifts, Lottery, Cash Back, Easy Loans, Stock Market Investment Scams, Quick Returns, etc.