Releasing a set of dos and don’ts for the public, the police have stated that people should never provide bank account or financial information as this could be used to withdraw money from their accounts.
People have been advised never to leave a public computer (in a cyber cafe, office building etc) after using the internet without logging out from visited websites and to keep changing their passwords frequently.
“We want people to be careful and ensure that they are not cheated of their hard-earned money. By the time they realize they have been cheated, the culprits are not traceable,” said police spokesperson John Aguiar.
Explaining the scam, the police said that often, emails and SMSs are sent to people congratulating them for winning a lottery, lucky draw, holiday package or job.
In order to avail of the prize, all that the recipient is asked to do is to pay by credit card or to deposit money in a bank account number provided in that message towards ‘Processing fees’, ‘Transaction charges’ or ‘Postage/parcel charges’ before they can receive the supposedly won lottery, gift, lucky draw, holiday package or job. “Innocent people fall prey and make these payments before realizing they have been cheated. The confidential information obtained by fraudsters is then used to siphon off money from the customer’s account. And neither is the cheat identifiable nor is the money recoverable,” said Aguiar