February 24, 2024

A new online scam has appeared where hackers are targeting smartphone users and asking them to download some apps. India is not new to online scams, in fact, every other day a new scam comes to light. And in most cases, authorities take immediate action to shut it down. However, hackers keep coming up with new ways to trick people and either steal money from their bank accounts, or steal their personal information for identity theft. It is very important to stay ahead of these hackers by knowing their latest shocking modus operandi, which involves downloading of remote access apps.

This new digital fraud was first reported by journalist Vishal Kumar from LiveHindustan.com. Sharing his own experiences, Kumar elaborated on the details of this malicious attack from hackers and how he was almost scammed into losing money from his bank account. Find out the details below.

New online scam in town, hackers using remote access apps

In this new online scam, hackers first send out mass text messages telling people that their SIM card documentation is incomplete and they need to share their details or the services will be deactivated within 24 hours. In reality, this is just a fake message sent out by hackers trying to scare people into downloading suspicious remote access apps that allow them to view your screen at all times.

A similar message was shared with Kumar that said, “Dear customer, Your S l M Ducumment has been pending. Please call our customer care 8420962191.immediatly your S l M will be deactivated within 24 hrs.” Note the grammatical errors and spelling errors.

Intending to verify the source of the message, Kumar dialed the alleged customer care number and was connected to a person (hacker) who confirmed that he needs to complete his KYC procedure in order to continue using his SIM card. The hacker told Kumar to download a remote access app called Anydesk Remote Desktop. For the uninitiated, remote access apps allow any person on the other end of the town, even another state in the country, to view your computer screen and use the PC to do anything they want on it. They are after bank account number (if you try to pay through an UPI), OTP for payment transfers and more. This way hackers find out your bank details and attempt to transfer money to their account. When your bank sends out an OTP to your device to authenticate, they can see the number and type the code at their end to empty out your bank account. This online scam is extremely dangerous.

How to protect yourself from this online scam

Do remember that any message sent from your network operator will not display a number but a code containing the initials of the operator. Further, the message will not have any grammatical or spelling errors.

Further, only authorised representatives from the network carrier are permitted to carry out KYC procedures. And under no circumstances they will ever ask you to download anything. Most of all, no bank will ever ask your bank account number, password or OTP number. If someone asks for this, remember, they are fraudsters. So always remember to ask for credentials and contact your customer service representative to confirm.

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