The sunken job market due to the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in aspirants seeking alternative employment opportunities on fake job websites and 'work from home' companies that fleece them.
SMS and email phishing is one of the most-known phishing tactics. Now, with the invention of instant messaging platforms like WhatsApp and Telegram, scamsters have also leveraged these platforms in their never-ending hustle to spam users with messages promising an easy paycheck, or free appliances, or other benefits and schemes on various platforms simultaneously. Some of the WhatsApp messages, which promise an easy paycheck while working from home. "Join us and earn Rs 5,000 per day," pamphlets, posters, or hoardings claiming, 'Here's how you can earn Rs 50,000 to Rs 60,000 working from home' can be seen as the perfect example of the scams.
In recent times, these messages are also seen on sites popping out of nowhere. The report says that the links included in these phishing messages usually contain malware that is installed on a user's smartphone as soon as they click on it and in some instances, ask them to give up their financial details, ATM PINs, etc.
Check Point Software Technologies, Managing Director for India and SAARC, Sundar N Balasubramanian told that cybercriminals are leveraging people's interest in working from home during the lockdown. He said that SMS phishing generally involves a text message with a single link to a fake account login page. He also said that in addition, new SMS phishing tactics use a text message with a link that when accessed, downloads zero-day malware on a user's smartphone. Balasubramanian also said that scamsters are using new techniques to increase the effectiveness of their attacks. "These attacks are used to steal users' credentials and data to access corporate networks and applications," added Balasubramanian. These links usually lead to a website that will ask for your data and later use the 'information for illegal purposes'.
If you have been getting similar text messages lately, here are a few tips to save yourself from getting scammed.
Here are some tips to determine whether a job offer is a scam:
a. Asking for money (mostly refundable)
b. Asking for confidential information like Credit Card/Aadhar/PAN etc.
c. Badly written job description
d. Offering easy hiring criteria and on the
e. Luring with a salary beyond expectation
f. Using names of known job-portals to contact you
Here are some tips to avoid frauds:
a. Beware of short URLs, information requested on Google forms from unknown sources
b. Never send sensitive, personal, or proprietary information (Aadhar or Pan card) via email
c. Look for poor spelling, grammar in emails, SMS, and portals
d. Links/Forms asking for personal information
e. Always check the header of emails for genuineness
f. Never sign any online agreement before consulting a lawyer
g. Never pay to get a job; genuine firms never ask for deposits
h. Scanning QR Code or OTP, UPIN, Bank Card, and CVV numbers mean you are transferring money from your account and NOT receiving
i. Report fraud on www.cybercrime.gov.in immediately