Suresh Tewatia wanted to send an e-mail to his younger brother. But he was shocked to read a mail, supposedly from his bank, informing him of a withdrawal of Rs 90,000 from his bank account.
In case, the e-mail cautioned, Tewati did not know of the transaction, he must “verify” his “personal information” to safeguard against hacking.
The electronic goods supplier promptly complied. A week later, a "big sum" went missing from his account.
Tewatia had just become a target of cyber forgery through phishing, a criminally fraudulent technique of attempting to acquire/steal confidential information such usernames, internet banking password and credit card detail.
“There has been a sharp rise in the number of complaints related to phishing attacks,” said Noida police's Deputy Superintendent of Police R.N. Mishra who oversees their counter-cyber crime investigations.
“The target of accused persons, specialising in the technology-aided cyber crime of phishing, currently is to siphon off people's money from their accounts by duping them into parting with their user name and net banking password," he said.
Businessman Pawan Kumar Aggarwal, another phishing victim, lost Rs 1.66 crore several months ago. The cyber frauds stole the sum from his bank account in several transactions over five days. The probe has found the connivance of "locals" with the "original masterminds" who might be based abroad or across the country, Mishra said.
“The local accused provides the targets' e-mail accounts and lets the masterminds transfer the money into their accounts for a price,” he said.