Free Computer Awareness Programme June 2023

Free Computer Awareness Programme June 2023

“Greed and stupidity are the reasons why people become cybercrime victims,” says DCP (cybercrime), Mumbai

Cybercrime incidents are increasing as culprits online can cheat many people in one go. Techno savvy, illiterate, children, youth and elderly — all are falling prey to cybercrime .

Criminals are devising new ways to cheat people.

“One-fourth of our crimes are digital and in cyber space. The extent of their occurrence needs much more attention and anything done to create awareness about it is short of what needs to be done”, says the top police official from Mumbai.

Need of the hour is to create awareness, particularly amongst the seniors who are targeted more, as per various reports.

It must be our endeavour to increase our awareness on computers and avoid being victimised.

To enable people to be conversant with basic computer operations, a series of free sessions were held in early 2022 and around 70 seniors who participated reported to be benefited from the same.

Read my blogpost on the sessions conducted in Feb’22 at  : Back to school with Grand parents

Based on the requests from many, I plan to conduct two FREE sessions as below:

Topic: Basic Computer operations

Dates: 3rd and 4th June, 2023 (Weekend)                                Time: 6:00 to 7:30 PM IST

Mode : Through Google Meet                                                   Medium of Instruction: English

Expectation from Participant: Access to laptop/computer to practice        Age: No bar

Interested persons can join by registering at the link:

Please note that the sessions are FREE but Registration is a MUST .

As seniors report forgetting what has been learnt I am also exploring the possibility of placing small video of each exercise at a common location, so that they can refer to them at any time. These videos will be available only for Registered and attended participants.

For any query, please email to or WhatsApp message to +91 9840258014

Let us Care and Share – knowledge

Kapaleeswaran, V

Please feel free to share this with anyone with an intent to learn

Fake Job offers – Cyber fraud

Fake Job offers – Cyber fraud

Do this task at your own peril! How cyber scamsters are looting people with a new strategy

Here is a look at how these latest cyber scams work in which, investigators say, scamsters exploit what is known as the “Sunk-Cost fallacy”, like in many other cyber scams.

Good Day Dear! I am HR xxx…I would like to offer you a part time job,” reads a message on the WhatApp received from an international number.”

Another message sent with a different name “HR xxx” reads, “You can earn rupees here by liking YouTube videos and sending screenshots.”

Pune’s cybercrime investigators say these messages are the gateways to elaborate online frauds, being termed as “task frauds” by them.

Here is a look at how these latest cyber scams work in which, investigators say, scamsters exploit what is known as the “sunk-cost fallacy”, like in many other cyber scams.

“Our investigation suggests that a large number of citizens are receiving these messages. It is like the cyber criminals are spreading their fishing net and then waiting for the targets to get caught.

So what is this scam?

Inspector Chandrashekhar Sawant, from the Pune City Cyber Crime police station, who is probing multiple task fraud cases, said, “It starts with a message on WhatsApp, generally from international numbers.

In most of the cases  the first message is from a scamster posing as HR representatives offering part-time jobs with good income. After a response from the receiver, they ask you to do tasks like liking YouTube videos, giving reviews of hotels, giving good ratings to online products, etc., and sending them screenshots. For every small task, the scamsters send you amounts like Rs 50, 100 per task.

Once the target is lured, the scamster moves to the next stage. Now they add the target to a Telegram group for what they call prepaid tasks. If the targets do not have a Telegram app on the phone, they ask them to install it or help install it.”

Inspector Sawant said, “On Telegram, they make you believe that you have been promoted a level by adding you to Telegram groups of names suggesting a step above.

It is at this stage that the scamsters start demanding money on the pretext of what they call prepaid tasks. Now they ask, for example, Rs 1,000 before a task, and then pay you back Rs 1,300 or Rs 1,500 after the task is complete. Here, the nature of tasks changes but does not go beyond the target requiring to just click, like or rate things.

They then add the target to another higher level group where the value of prepaid tasks goes into lakhs. They seek, for example, Rs 2-3 lakh and promise higher returns.”

Now comes the twist in the tale.

“At one stage, they stop giving back the returns on these prepaid tasks using various pretexts — like further investment of those amounts into bitcoins or saying that there are issues with the payments. To return the money paid earlier, scamsters start demanding more and more money and in larger amounts. Expecting to recover the money after investing so much, the victims continue to pay up. As victims stop further payments and start demanding back their money after realising that they are being cheated, the scamsters close the communication channels and go incommunicado. In most cases, none of these communications are over calls, it is just texts on messenger apps,” Sawant said.

“The shift to Telegram from WhatsApp is for a reason. While WhatsApp generally shares with police entities the information about their users for investigation purposes, Telegram hardly ever responds to such requests,” another officer said.

Senior Inspector Minal Patil said, “The underlying broad method of the scam is similar to any other cyber fraud where the vulnerabilities of the victims are exploited by the criminals into making them pay money. Only the method of luring the targets and the pretexts of scamming have changed. We have launched coordinated probes into the multiple cases that we have reported over the last three months.”

A senior cyber investigator said, “There is a concept in behavioural economics termed as sunk cost fallacy where a person continues to invest in endeavours in spite of serious doubts of failure, especially because the person has already invested so much in it. They also exploit vulnerabilities like need, greed, fear and lack of application of common sense and logic in most cases.”

The Indian Express came across at least 12 such instances over the past three months, with several cases registered over the past one-and-a-half months. Consider some of the key cases:

* An Army veteran, in his 60s, who responded to scamsters who contacted him in February, lost Rs 1.1 crore in a span of two weeks where he made as many 26 online transfers to over a dozen bank accounts.

* Between February and April, a business analyst with an IT company, who is in her 40s in Pune, lost Rs 47 lakh to a cyber fraudster. She made 18 online payments eithers on to bank accounts or to online payment platform accounts.

* An engineering professional in his late 20s lost Rs 9 lakh over 19 transactions after he started responding to a message from “HR Meera Mehta”.

* A doctor from Pune, who is in her early 50s, lost over Rs 23 lakh to cyber criminals after she fell prey to the money for task lure.

* This month, a 40-year-old engineer from Pimpri Chinchwad fell prey to the similar scam and lost Rs 57 lakh.

“What baffles us the most is the victims of these scams who have lost amounts ranging from Rs 10 lakh to over Rs one crore, are of strong educational backgrounds. Many even have technology and software degrees. And in spite of reporting of these cases across the media, people continue to fall prey to these scamsters,” said Senior Inspector Minal Patil, in-charge of Pune City Cyber Crime Police station.

How to avoid the new scam

Tips from the cybercrime department to avoid falling prey to scamsters:

* Do not respond to messages offering money. Any scheme offered through phones offering unusually high returns is usually a scam.

* If you respond and make payments, approach the nearest police station or cyber crime wing as soon as possible

Read full report at Indian Express dated 30-Apr-2023.


Black Friday, The true story of Bombay Blasts

Black Friday, The true story of Bombay Blasts


Just started reading this book more captivated by the title as , somehow in my busy schedule in my working days of 1990s, I had missed following the event.

Now the thrilling and shocking narrative by the author, acclaimed to be one of the best in business as evidenced in the ‘Praise for the book’ , reveals the same shock and spine chilling events as though one is going through the same now , after 30 years. Only half the book reading done so far, eager to complete.


Took to reading a novel after many months and when I chanced upon this, I thought the 265 paged book could be covered easily. But as the author mis-estimated to write this book in 6 weeks only to finish in four years, I too took four days but it was almost impossible to put it down. Could have been done faster but the heaviness of the matter discussed , at times, took longer time to comprehend and digest and that necessitated few more days.

I have no prior knowledge about the author, but was all the more curious about many things as to how he could narrate things as though he were on the scene but then his notes at the end, Epilogue  and ‘sources’ completely put at rest all my doubts. The language used was of such high standard that I had to use the ‘Lookup’ many times to get the right meaning of the word used.

The whole incident as many are aware, was tragic and brought gloom into so many of the victims’ houses and the aftermath the victim’s kith and kin suffered are well narrated in the ‘Life after Death’ chapter, which was to say ‘heart wrenching’. How else can one understand the extinguishing lives of a senior couple about to celebrate their wedding anniversary ; that of a budding Chartered accountant, a sportsman and a breadwinner whose family struggled no ends to make the surviving children to make a living.

Some chilling narratives are when some greedy cops allowed the destructive materials to seep through the police cordon, shattering plans, mindless vengeance with utter disregard to the innocent public who were the ultimate suffers, where even some of the surviving family members reportedly attempted suicide ; the present status of the accused given at the end are thought provoking as to how the acts come back to haunt people; how some of the perpetrators are now facing the mental hangups by becoming a slave of other countries; how the right connections could work for the high and mighty ; a casual remark as to how such atrocities were planned even in some other cities, but fortunately could not be implemented. The author has done a good job of bringing the scenes supported by some good sources, as mentioned. Well written book, but would personally not prefer to read another one on a similar subject.

Electricity Bill Payment Fraud

Electricity Bill Payment Fraud

According to a report by ANI, the woman who lives in Mumbai’s Andheri area received an SMS regarding an unpaid electricity bill on her husband’s phone. The SMS further warned that if the bill is not paid on time, the electricity connection of their house will be disconnected. Along with the SMS, there was also a phone number to contact for payment.

Thinking it to be a notification from the electricity department, the woman called the mentioned number. The call was picked up by an unknown person who introduced himself as an employee of the Adani Electricity office. The person further assured the victim that he would help her in bill payment and asked her to download the app “Team Viewer Quick Support.”

Following the instructions, the victim downloaded the app and shared the ID and passcode, giving the caller access to her mobile phone. After a while, the victim received back-to-back three SMS about the transactions of Rs 4,62,959, Rs 1,39,900, and Rs 89,000. A total of Rs 6,91,859 was debited from her account.

Upon seeing the large transactions, the SBI Fraud Management team also contacted the victim to verify if the recent transaction was from her side, which she denied. After finding out that she had fallen for cyber fraud, the victim went to the Andheri Police Station along with her daughter and registered an FIR about the fraud. The police have registered a case against an unknown person under sections 420, 66(C), and 66(D) of the IPC.

Similar cases have been reported in Mumbai and other parts of the country before. Scammers send SMS messages that create emergency situations, such as the discontinuation of electricity bills or the closing of bank accounts. They then share phone numbers or links for further action. Once the victim falls for the SMS and clicks on the link or makes the call, the scammers manage to gain access to the victim’s phone number or obtain an OTP to steal money directly from their bank account.

To stay safe from such scams, it is highly advisable not to click on any links attached to SMS messages received from unknown numbers. It should be noted that neither banks nor government organizations send such SMS messages or ask for any OTP or app downloads to pay an amount. If you receive a similar message over SMS or WhatsApp, delete the message, block the user, and report it to the bank or cyber cell.

Read full report from : India Today Dated 23 Mar 2023

Electricity Bill Payment Fraud

Beware of videos that could empty Bank accounts

Reports NewsDayExpress :

“A new case of fraud has come to light from YouTube, due to which the incidents of bank fraud are being executed. According to the research report of cyber security firm Cloudsec, there has been a 200 to 300 percent increase in fraud incidents from YouTube videos.

If you also search some videos on YouTube, then you may become a victim of bank fraud. Because there has been an entry of dangerous malware in the YouTube video, which installs the malware in your device.

How hacking is being done : When you watch a video on YouTube, the description is given below for more information related to that video. If some links are shared in this, then they are infected with dangerous malware. As soon as you click on this link, a virus enters your phone, which steals the personal information of your device. what not to do often people look for some jugaad, such as a jugaad to watch Netflix subscription for free, after which it is advised to click on the link in the description box below for more information. While searching for the crack version of Adobe Premiere, some people visit a fraud YouTube video, from where they take damage by clicking on the description link. In this case, any software or service with subscription and paid version should be used. Any YouTube information should not be taken as true, because YouTube is an open platform, on which anyone can create and upload videos.

Read full report at : Newsdayexpress/

Travelling safe with Cards-Tips

Travelling safe with Cards-Tips

Some tips to travel safe with your cards

  1. Inform the bank about your International travel (so that your transactions away from India are passed seamlessly)
  2. Set a limit on your domestic transactions (This is required until you cross the borders of your country)
  3. Set a limit on your overall international transactions
  4. Set desired limits on your transactions category wise like ATM, eCommerce and contactless routes
  5. Make sure that your card is well protected from the misuse of ‘Contactless facility’ by wrapping it around silver foil and other recognized methods
  6. In case of ‘Domestic only cards’ , make sure to set a bare minimum limit or better to zero
  7. On reaching your international destination, remember to block domestic transactions and (if required) international transactions too.
  8. Make a note of your card details including number, validity period and cvv. Also keep handy the online link , password and contact details to reach your card provider, in case of need.
  9. Ensure safe keep of critical data related to your card and share the same with your close confident so that they could react at your behest
  10. Remember that OTP (One Time Password) is not in vogue in many countries and transactions will be through even without it.
Beware of downloading Apps

Beware of downloading Apps

On February 16, 2023 the 43-year-old woman received a new SBI credit card. On the same day, she was contacted by a person claiming to be a bank official. He offered to help her activate her credit card.
“Unaware of such cheating, she revealed the credit card and bank account details to the person over the phone,” a police official said.

The accused later said that for completion of credit card activation and its usage, an application named QS Support has to be installed on the mobile phone. As directed, the victim too installed the app before she received messages that Rs 3.21 lakhs were debited from her bank account on seven transactions and Rs 48,000 taken from her credit card.
“The app which the complainant installed on her mobile phone was a remote access application. This allowed the fraudster to access the victim’s mobile phone. He obtained all the required passwords and OTPs to complete the transactions. Even though the victim approached the bank, they were helpless and advised her to lodge a police complaint,” the police official said.

However, the police are still puzzled about how the accused person learned that the victim had received a new credit card. Police suspect the victim might have searched for new credit cards on fake websites alerting fraudsters about a new prey. “The cyber fraudsters approaching people for credit card activation is a new method.

We suspect that no recent case of similar nature has been reported in Kerala in recent days. A probe is conducted based on the mobile phone from which the victim received the call and about bank accounts to which the amount was transferred from the victim’s account,” the police official said.

News Courtesy The New Indian Express




In case of suspected cyber security attack, early reporting is vital .


1. Do Not Panic
2. Report the incident AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE to Cyber Crime police
3. Report online or through phone call or in person
4. Wherever required, report and alert the bank concerned