Unidentified Cyber fraudsters have been booked for allegedly hacking into the email account of an assistant commissioner of the customs department in the city.
The police said that the fraudsters sent emails to Powai resident Avnish Kumar’s contact list in June, claiming that he was in financial distress and in urgent need of money. “I was shocked when I started getting calls from my friends,” said Kumar, who got a case lodged with the Powai police. According to the police, the fraudsters allegedly hacked Kumar’s email account (email@example.com), and sent emails to several people claiming that Kumar was facing financial problems. However, Kumar’s friends didn’t fall prey to the attempt, as they instantly called him. “On June 21, 50-odd people had called me to say that they had received emails from my account claiming that I was in some problem,” Kumar told The Indian Express. He added that when he tried to log in, he realised that the password of his email account has been changed. He then contacted yahoo and managed to block his account the same day. He later learnt that the fraudsters had created another account with his name — firstname.lastname@example.org.
“The next day, I learnt that a fake email account has been created by the fraudsters. I hope none of my friends have fallen for this scam… my data from the last eight years has been stolen,” said Kumar. He further said that one of his friends pretended to be falling for the claims made by the fraudsters and replied to an email. “In the emails exchanged between my friend and the cyber frauds, the scamsters alleged that I was in north India and was in urgent need of money for medical purpose… he was asked to pay Rs 30,000,” Kumar added.
However, as the emails didn’t stop, Kumar approached the cyber police and filed a complaint in June. On August 9, following a preliminary investigation, a case was registered under the Information Technology Act, 2000 by the Powai police station. Sub-Inspector Pandurang Kopale from Powai police station confirmed that a case has been registered.
“It becomes very easy to access one’s account, when you log into several applications using similar account details… so, one needs to change passwords regularly. Besides, everyone should avoid clicking on unverified links or giving access of their phone to unnecessary applications,” said IG (Cyber) Brijesh Singh.