Sharing the method of operation under which the scammers operate, the police have put out a list of precautions people can take to avoid becoming victims to such scams.

COVID-19 testing where healthcare workers test patientsImage for Representation
news Scam Sunday, June 20, 2021 - 18:37

Tamil Nadu police on Sunday issued a cybercrime alert regarding an ongoing scam being reported from many places in the state. According to the police, scammers have been targeting people booking COVID-19 tests with “unfamiliar” labs and have been cheating them of their money. Sharing the method of operation under which the scammers operate, the police have put out a list of precautions people can take to avoid becoming victims to such scams. Those who have already been cheated under such circumstances can register their complaints at https://cybercrime.gov.in/.

Based on the crimes reported, the police have been able to deduce that the scammers create fake websites for COVID-19 testing labs through which they trap people looking to book COVID-19 tests. “When the victims contact the numbers given, the scammers request to register online and make the payment online and promise to take the samples from their home. The scammers even visit the victim’s house and collect the sample and later they either do not provide a report or send a fake one. Once the amount is credited to them, they switch off the numbers and deny all other requests by the victim,” the police said in their public service announcement post put up on their social media page.

As precautionary measures, the police request people to only book tests with labs approved by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). “Always check for the authenticity of the sources available online,” they add. Additionally, people must exercise caution while talking to the online representatives. “Never share personal information, username or password or any other sensitive information,” they said.

Other precautionary steps include:

> Double-check links and email addresses before clicking. Fake links often imitate established websites by adding extra words or letters. Misspelt words or random letters and numbers in the URL or email address may also indicate a scam.

> Guard your digital documents diligently as the cybercriminals can use Aadhaar, PAN card and mobile number details in many ways.

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