Cyber frauds tap into illegal movie streaming sites popular during lockdown to siphon funds
As cyber fraudsters quickly adapt to people's lockdown needs, police warn citizens against watching shows and movies on unknown sites, and those offering to help pay electricity dues
There are some people who have been using the lockdown to make a quick buck. Unfortunately, you could be the one paying a high price. Fraudsters have found new ways to fleece people amid the pandemic, either through emails about electricity bills or targeting them with the lure of downloading digitally released movies and web series for free through dubious websites.
Crores of people are at home due to the lockdown that has been extended in many places, and are spending time watching online movies or web series.
Taking advantage of the situation, cyber fraudsters have come up with an innovative way to cheat people. They have been targeting them with the lure of downloading digitally released movies and web series for free through parody websites.
Many people don't subscribe to the legal Over-The-Top (OTT) platforms, and watch movies or web series illegally for free, on the Internet.
Zootopia is on the list of 10 movies that cyberthugs use to lure people
According to an official from the Maharashtra Cyber Cell, whenever one watches movies or a web series on illegal websites, malware goes into one's mobile or computer as soon as the link to these sites are opened.
This virus steals one's password or personal information. After stealing the data, one is blackmailed with the same information for money.
Top 10 lures
The research team of the Maharashtra Cyber Cell has found the names of popular such films, websites, TV shows, which are used to cheat.
A list of 10 such popular web series and 10 films was released by the Cyber Cell recently.
According to a Cyber Cell official, if you try to watch the film or web series on an unknown website, before it starts, hackers run a programme through which your data is stolen.
The 10 movies used to cheat online include Mardani 2, Zootopia, Jawani Janeman, Bala, Inception, Bahubali, Chhapaak, Gully Boy and Rajnigandha. The 10 top web series used for cyber fraud are Delhi Crime, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Panchayat, Fauda, Akoori, Devlok, Lost, Ghoul, Narcos and Mindhunter.
'Watch on original websites'
In order to avoid such cyber fraud, the Maharashtra Cyber Cell has appealed to people to watch films or web series on the original websites.
Superintendent of the Maharashtra Cyber Cell, Balasingh Rajput said, "The technical team of the Maharashtra Cyber Cell keeps an eye on such frauds on the Internet.
These cyber frauds are happening in the name of showing the film for free. If you find your data is stolen or are threatened by a cyber fraudster, report to the police immediately."
Cyber expert Ankur Puranik said, "People are spending time on the Internet during the lockdown, and when there is an offer to watch movies for free, they become victims of cyber fraud in an attempt to save money."
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