Beware Of Free Gifts Messages For Christmas, New Year: These Can Steal Your Money, Rob Sensitive Information

With loads of offers available online during the festive season, online attackers find it the perfect season to get hold of genuine users’ account details and personal information.

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Such an act has recently been warned of by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology’s Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) team.

The Government of India’s team has warned users that certain scammers are targeting online festival shoppers and directing them to fake models of renowned websites, asking them to fill in their personal information and bank account details, which is in turn routed to Chinese websites.

CERT-In has asked users to be highly cautious and not click on any link or URL which they believe could be adulterated/counterfeited.

Many scammers are sending people text messages having links to famous online shopping portals, offering them gift cards, discount coupons or links to prizes, thereby directing to a website modelled after websites of popular brands. 

Before the victim realises, they are asked to fill up a questionnaire with false claims of getting a chance to win money and prizes.

“The attackers entice the users to give sensitive information like personal details, bank account details, passwords, OTPs or use it for adware and other adversarial purposes,” CERT-In’s advisory read.

The advisory further added that such threat actors are mostly targeting women and asking them to share the links of such offers among peer groups and contacts over WhatsApp/Telegram/Instagram accounts.

The people would do it because the website claims that a user has won a prize. The malicious link may further result in large-scale attacks and financial frauds, the advisory adds.

“Exercise due care before clicking on link provided in the message. Only click on URLS that clearly indicate the website domain. When in doubt, users can search for the organisation’s website directly using search engines to ensure that the websites they visited are legitimate.

Keep personal information private. Threat actors can use social media profiles to gather information and make targeted attack against you,” the central agency warned users.

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