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Rajiv Singha

Be Careful of these Potential Online Scams

February 5, 2016
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Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

With services like WhatsApp and other such messaging platforms, communication has become easier and highly convenient. But, as these services gain popularity, they start attracting a whole lot of scammers and criminal minds. This post tells you about two types of potential online scams that you must watch out for.

A couple of days back, I came across a WhatsApp message which goes like this:

“Any vehicle on the road, if you want to know the name of the owner, it is very simple. Just type VAHAN space Vehicle No and send to 7738299899, you can get the owner of the vehicle in return SMS, thanks to “DIGITAL INDIA” it will be easy to complain on vehicles who do not follow traffic rules, and commit Road Accidents. Please share…”

So, we ran some background checks on this lest anything fishy is going on. It seems that this number is genuine and has been devised by the Transport Road Ministry of the country. The Times of India quotes “While buying a used car or any other vehicle, you can now check its genuineness simply by sending an SMS to 7738299899 from your mobile phone…” Now, with little analysis, it can be understood that the above message might be a misguided version of what has been quoted in the news. Nevertheless, there’s no harm done, because the number is genuine.

To continue, here is another incident about a post that I saw recently on my LinkedIn page. It read:

I am into recruiting, and I can get you job prospects of various positions in Finance, Software, Banking, Marketing, Logistics, Media, Fashion and more. If interested, ping me your number and we’ll get in touch.”

As expected, many LinkedIn users posted their phone numbers in the comment section of this post.

Coming to the main point, why have we put together these two incidents?

About the first incident, there is no two ways about the fact that this message is most likely going viral and many people might have even tried texting to the number, without verifying the information. And this habit of ours to act on something sensational without thinking, is what encourages online scammers. It will be wise to assume that cyber criminals will be crafting similar messages and propagating them on WhatsApp and other such messaging platforms. And the contact details that they might provide, be it a phone number or an email address, will be used to get your phone number and email address. And using this very information, they might target you in the future.

Talking about the second incident, we don’t know how genuine is the LinkedIn post or the person who has posted it. It is not surprising to know that LinkedIn, like many other social networks, is also riddled with fake profiles. We had discussed about this topic in length in one of our earlier posts. So, assuming that the post mentioned above is fake, then users who had posted their phone numbers, have basically furnished the same to an online scammer. Moreover, by mentioning their numbers publicly, they have, in any case, allowed hackers and other scammers record the information.

Bottom Line

Before acting on any social media post, text message, call, etc., that requires you to share your information or reveals your information, think and run a background check first. Your phone number, name, date of birth, etc., might be a bunch of ordinary information for you, but for cyber criminals, they are pure gold. Stay safe!

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Rajiv Singha
About Rajiv Singha
Rajiv is an IT security news junkie and a computer security blogger at Quick Heal. He is passionate about promoting cybersecurity awareness, content and digital...
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26 Comments

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  1. sir you mention that “run a background check first.” how it can be done ?

    Reply
  2. Dear sir,

    My Friend received mail yesterday and download attachment. After downloading the attachment all files of the PC .xls & .doc converted as .xls.micro and same doc files also. Now he is not able to open any file,which contain important files. Now what to do Pl. Suggest.
    Regards
    Rajesh

    Reply
  3. Girish,

    instead of fooling your self, do some verification before sharing own personal details.

    like as he explain about VAHAN key word, before sending message first check is it really unique key which shared by gov. if no doesn’t make sense to use this type of Digital India facility.

    Thanks Rajiv for sharing incident.

    Reply
  4. Lajaras MhaskeFebruary 6, 2016 at 8:17 AM

    Will you please mention how to carry out back ground check?

    Reply
    • Hi Lajras,

      Thank you for reading the post. BY background check, we mean that you verify the information by doing a research on it via Google or by inquiring among your friends.

      Regards,

      Reply
  5. gajanan pandeFebruary 6, 2016 at 3:20 PM

    good

    Reply
  6. mukesh kuriyaFebruary 7, 2016 at 2:35 PM

    i have purchased QH trhee years validity and currently my pendrive virus protected ans i used all method to desable or format it but i cant do anythig. quick heal doest workig ad ot able to remove virus. i decide that never use Quick Heal.

    Reply
  7. sukanta mandalFebruary 7, 2016 at 10:47 PM

    I can not able to update.This msg display” The version of Total security you have is up to date. Use Quick update regularly to keep your copy updated” but Protection is out of date. What will I do?

    Reply
  8. Krishna Kumar BawankerFebruary 8, 2016 at 8:48 AM

    Sir,mai quikheal ka hamesha ka grahak hu.
    asha hai achhi seva denge.
    Dhanyawad

    Reply
  9. Dipak MalakarFebruary 8, 2016 at 11:32 AM

    I can not able to update.This msg display” The version of Total security you have is up to date. Use Quick update regularly to keep your copy updated” but Protection is out of date. What will I do?

    Reply
  10. dear sir,
    i have downloaded the latest version of guardian anti-virus successfully.but during installment of anti virus,a new page is appearing for un-installment of previous version of 2104.
    so, when i am going to un-install the previous version,the system is wanting the secured password.but i do not know the password.kindly help me.

    Reply
  11. kalyan nathFebruary 8, 2016 at 1:42 PM

    Dear Sir,
    I had renewed 3 years service a year back . But last few months I am unable to find my anti virus in my system . Can you check your client data and get back to me.

    Reply
  12. Dhakan Kalpesh KumarFebruary 9, 2016 at 1:47 AM

    License Key se Quik Heal Saru nahi hota hai.Abhi 1sal Pura huwa nahi hai

    Reply
  13. Thanks for this security guide post.
    It is for real. I appreciate it.
    Spammers please have a change of attitude so that you don’t die by your sword.

    Reply
  14. kickass torrent website is blocked so i was wondering if i should access it through a proxy website. is it safe? this has nothing to do with your article but i have very knowledge on this so plz reply. thanx.

    Reply
  15. visweswar raoFebruary 10, 2016 at 11:20 AM

    sir please suggest to how to fix the problem printer spooler error when it comes the system restart. printer not activated suppose if start printerspooler in services.msc again the system restart how to fix this error.
    i used licensed quickh heal totoal secirity valid uptp april 20th 2016.

    regards
    visweswar rao
    visweswar_rao@yahoo.co.in

    Reply