In a distressing incident, a 78-year-old man from Kerala fell victim to cybercriminals, losing Rs 4 lakh in a scam when attempting to cancel a train ticket through the official IRCTC website. The elaborate scam involved deceptive calls from individuals posing as railway officials and exploiting the victim’s trust. The victim, M. Mohammed Basheer from Kozhikode, shared his account details and even downloaded a fraudulent app, leading to the unauthorized withdrawal of funds.
As per reports from Mathrubhumi News, Basheer’s unfortunate encounter began when he stumbled upon a fake website resembling the legitimate IRCTC ticketing site. Subsequently, he received a call from a person impersonating a railway employee, who instructed him to download a seemingly innocuous app named ‘Rest Desk.’ This malicious app granted the scammers unrestricted access to Basheer’s phone.
The impersonator, proficient in both English and Hindi, gained Basheer’s trust and convinced him to share his bank account details and ATM card number. Soon after, Basheer received alarming messages notifying him of withdrawals from his savings account. His shock escalated when he found that a significant sum had also been withdrawn from his fixed deposit.
Police investigations revealed that the scammers relentlessly contacted Basheer using three different phone numbers. Although Basheer attempted to contact his bank after the initial unauthorized withdrawal, the fraudsters thwarted his efforts. In response, Basheer formatted his phone to prevent further data breaches and reported the incident to both his bank and the police’s cyber cell.
Further analysis uncovered that the ‘Rest Desk’ app, downloaded at the scammers’ behest, facilitated unauthorized access to Basheer’s phone. The fraudulent transactions occurred in multiple withdrawals, amounting to Rs 4,05,919, with the debiting occurring from Kolkata. Authorities are now speculating a potential connection between the scammers and individuals in Bengal and Bihar.
This incident emerges amidst heightened concerns surrounding cyber scams related to the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC). Recent alerts from IRCTC highlighted a malicious mobile app campaign, wherein scammers exploit phishing links distributed through messaging platforms like WhatsApp and Telegram. Users are deceived into downloading counterfeit versions of the official IRCTC Rail Connect mobile app.
The fraudulent app, named “irctcconnect.apk,” dupes victims into believing it’s a legitimate private company or government entity. This underscores the urgent need for public awareness and vigilance against cyber threats, especially those targeting popular platforms and services.
As technology evolves, individuals must remain cautious and discerning to safeguard their personal information and financial assets from fraudulent schemes.
Sources By Agencies