Cyber criminals use fear, greed, lust to target victims

Cyber criminals use fear, greed, lust to target victims

December 28, 2022

City Police Commissioner speaks to techies as part of Crime Prevention Month

Mysore/Mysuru: Cyber criminals mostly use fear, greed and lust to methodically steal personal and proprietary financial information. “We must be aware of the psychological games and other tactics cyber criminals use in social engineering scams through junk email, WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram messages,” said City Police Commissioner B. Ramesh.

He was addressing a programme organised by Mysuru City Police, N.R. Police Sub-Division and Infosys at the Infosys Campus last evening as part of Crime Prevention Month. The session focussed on awareness about cyber crime.  

He said that as the nation surges ahead in digital transactions, many complaints of cyber crime are lodged at Cyber Crime Police Stations on a day-to-day basis. The numbers are too high compared to that of the yesteryears.

“Despite the Police taking up several initiatives to create awareness among the public about the cyber offences, we see no respite in bringing down the crimes unless the public is cautious while sharing their personal information to strangers or in some instances with known persons,” he said.

Financial fraud cases

In most financial fraud cases, the Police observe either greed or fear as a reason for victimisation, while in the cases related to social media, it is ignorance that lands the netizens in some sort of trouble, he said.

“The scam emails and messages particularly target consumers and capitalise on greed. These messages have such subject lines as ‘You Won’ to entice consumers into thinking they may have won a lottery, 90 percent discounts to trick consumers into thinking they are getting great promotional pricing, or target consumers who need a loan or have financial woes,” he said.

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Mental trauma, shame

Apart from financial losses, it leads to mental trauma, often forcing the victims to take their own lives. Most are scared to lose their social standing among their family and friends because of the act of shame. Social media is used to trap victims and also threaten them. The victims are both men and women, as are the perpetrators, he added.

For instance, a WhatsApp video call is made, and the victim receives it. Upon answering the call, the victim is usually shown a video of a naked person or any other obscenity or objectionable video, and through screen recording, the victim watching it is recorded. Thereafter, he/she is threatened that the video of him watching will be made public through social media, he said.

There have also been instances where someone has recorded videos of women in their bathrooms and then asked for sexual favours to stop the videos from being leaked on social media.

Golden Hour crucial

Many of the times victims don’t report the crime as it happens. “Like in the medical field, here too, the principle of ‘Golden Hour’ is important. If you report the crime instantly, we can block these accounts and there are high chances of getting your money back. The more you delay, the likelihood of getting your money decreases. Ideally, the complaint must be filed within one hour of the crime,” Ramesh said.

Complaints can be made to the nearest Police Station, CEN Police Station or dial 112. The victims can also complain to Helpline 1930.

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The Police Commissioner also released posters on Crime Prevention Month.

KSRP DCP Nagaraj, ACPs M.N. Shashidhar, Shivashankar, S.E. Gangadharaswamy, Inspectors Ravishankar, Diwakar, K.R. Prasad, B.C. Satish, Raghavendra, Ganapathy and others were present.


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