OTP-based cyber crime is old-fashioned; data theft is the real challenge

Every day the cyber crime world is entering a new area, which brings a new challenge for the investigators. The journey that started with Jamtara OTP based crime has reached to data stealing, money siphoning and extortion. Data protection is going to be a big challenge, feels Prem Vir Singh, Joint Commissioner of Police, Crime Branch, Ahmedabad.

Prem Vir Singh speaking to IANS said, “A few years ago the maximum cyber crime complaints were of money siphoning using bank OTP and most of the crimes were committed by people from Jamtara, that can be called basic crime in today’s cyber crime world.”

Now new modus operandi have been developed by the cyber crime world. The latest one is sextortion, in which a female lures a man on the phone, they become friends and one day she makes a video call inducing the victim to be nude. This is recorded and used to blackmail and extort money. The number of such complaints has increased in recent times, said Singh.

The other modus operandi is SIM card swapping, in which the victim’s mobile SIM card is swapped and later money is siphoned off from his account.

Micro finance through a Chinese app has cheated those who have used these apps for small loans ranging from Rs 10,000 to Rs 20,000. When the application is downloaded, the app takes permission to access the data of the user and then starts approaching the borrower’s relatives and friends and blackmails the borrower to extort money, said the officer.

Other new ways are through bank account number fishing through Google search engine, helplines numbers, by friends in need modus operandi, with promise to send gifts, will ask deposit money. Nigerian gangs literally loot traders by promising huge profits in the oil business. Another way of cyber crime is insurance policy with a low premium while the latest one is messages warning of disconnecting the power supply as the consumer has not paid the bill on time.

But most worrying and dangerous is malware installed in consumers’ computers. Through such malware cyber criminals are not only stealing consumers’ bank details, but after swapping SIM cards are siphoning off money. Investigating a complaint by a company, a cyber crime team found that such malware was installed in many companies’ computers. The team informed all the companies and advised them to take precautions, said an officer.

The JCP crime branch said in the coming days data protection is going to be a challenge and companies and individuals will have to make maximum efforts for data protection against cyber attackers and criminals.




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