Pune: Residents of Pune are being cautioned against falling victim to job offers from strangers and low-interest loan schemes. The cyber thieves in the city are becoming increasingly rampant, preying on unsuspecting individuals. The cyber crime branch, recognizing the surge in such crimes, is urging the need for additional trained personnel to combat these threats.
Recently, a prominent doctor in the city experienced an unsettling incident. He received a video call from an unknown individual on WhatsApp. To his dismay, the caller, a young woman, made obscene gestures during the call. Shocked by this behavior, he promptly ended the video call. However, the young woman later sent a screenshot on WhatsApp, which featured a picture of the doctor in his uniform as his display picture (‘DP’), alongside a photograph of the young woman.
The doctor was taken aback by the sudden turn of events. The young woman then proceeded to send a QR code and threatened to share the screenshot on social media if he did not pay her. Fearing the consequences, the doctor panicked and transferred Rs. 21,000 to the girl’s bank account online. The girl subsequently blocked his number after receiving the money. However, she continued to demand further payments from a different mobile phone. Finally, the doctor decided to file a complaint, leading to the cyber police registering a case against the young woman.
In another incident, a 30-year-old government employee in Pune, facing financial difficulties, came across an advertisement on Facebook for an online loan app called ‘Cash Advance.’ The app claimed to offer a repayment period of three months with an interest rate of only 0.1 percent. Intrigued by the offer, the employee downloaded the app.
Upon installation, the app requested access to various permissions, including camera, mobile contacts, location, and storage. Additionally, it sought personal information such as Aadhaar number, PAN card details, and bank account number. Within no time, a sum of Rs. 2,274 was deposited into the employee’s bank account. However, the app developers then demanded further payment as interest. Ultimately, the employee fell victim to the scam and lost a total of Rs. 13,87,000.
The main cyber police station in Pune recorded over 14,000 complaints of online banking, ATM, and cyber fraud in 2022. Data from 2023 suggests that this number has increased compared to the previous year, not only in the city’s main cyber police station but also in other areas of Pune. Residents are urged to remain vigilant and take necessary precautions to protect themselves from cyber theft and fraud.