Nigerian crooks target netizens with I-T refund bait
Date of Publishing:21/12/2010
Hyderabad: Nigerian fraud on the Internet has now targeted the Income Tax website. Fraudsters have created a portal, strikingly similar to that of the IT department and have sent e-mails in bulk to netizens asking them to fill in their netbanking details to claim a hefty tax refund.
The mails, that have been received by many denizens, quote a high refund amount (Rs 30,000 onwards), which is attractive enough for citizens to check out the claim being made. "Once the details including user name and password are filled in by an individual, the fraudsters gain an automatic entry into the genuine account holder's finances.
Later, they siphon off huge amounts from the individual's account through online transactions to their personal accounts," said Iqbal Siddiqui, ACP (Cyber Crime), Hyderabad, who said that the department was aware of this fraudulent activity but had not received any cases so far. Going by the past cases of Nigerian fraud, Siddiqui said that the e-mail addresses are being purchased by the fraudsters from the various internet service providers.
That is how these mails are popping in the inbox and not going to the spam folder by default despite strict security settings and filters that many users have now enabled on their e-mails. The I-T department has issued a warning to citizens to ensure they do not fall prey to this trap. "We suspect the cheats to be Indonesian and Sudanese nationals. We are trying to address the serious matter by putting up awareness banners at both our office buildings (Income Tax Towers and Aayakar Bhavan) in the city," said an I-T official, adding that the hoardings carry the contact number of the grievance offices. The department has advised individuals to think carefully before clicking on these mails and consider the important question whether they are indeed entitled to such a huge refund amount to avoid being trapped. The cyber crime wing experts note that the I-T department needs to upgrade its site at the earliest to make it hackerproof.
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