Long URL sometimes may look so ridiculously long, and we have URL shorteners come into existence! They take lengthy URLs and make them shorter and easier for the recipient. There are a lot of benefits of short URL’s and a few of them are (i) We will have the ability to track the performance. (ii) They use fewer characters. (iii) They lead to a higher click-through rate. (v) They drive traffic back to our websites.
URL shorteners are often used by online fraudsters (malicious actors) to trick users into following a link to compromise their systems, swindle money from their bank accounts, or even tricks them into mine cryptocurrency without the intervention of the user. Recipients could be clicking a malware link (short links) or being directed to a spoofing page where victims’ sensitive information would be recorded and later used for stealing sensitive data and money.
Validating the Short Links / Emails / Websites :
(a) Validating the SMS – https://smsheader.trai.gov.in/
(b) Unshorten the URL‘s – (i) www.unshorten.it (ii) www. checkshorturl.com (iii) https://www.expandurl.net
(b) Validating the Websites – (i) https://isitphishing.org/ (ii) https://www.urlvoid.com/ (iii) https://www.site24x7.com/link-checker.html (iv) https://transparencyreport.google.com/safe-browsing/search
(c) Validating the Email Headers (i) https://mxtoolbox.com/EmailHeaders.aspx (ii) https://dnschecker.org/email-header-analyzer.php (iii) https://mailheader.org/
(d) Checking for Virus (File or URL) – https://www.virustotal.com/gui/
Few Tips to Prevent Fraud :
- Verify and validate, all Emails and SMS very carefully as the fraudsters usually send fake / spoofed SMS & emails to gain the faith of the victim.
- Never click on short links sent via SMS or any other Messengers from an unknown sender
- Contact the business via email or instant messenger that is listed on the App or website or Credit/Debit Cards, it could be possible that few of the UPI based Apps may not have a customer care number.
- Neither the bank officials nor any reputed ecommerce platforms never ask for sensitive financial information like card details, OTPs, bank account details, net banking credentials, UPI PIN, etc.
- Don’t pay in Advance towards courier charges, processing fees, duty fees, customs amount etc.
- Do a proper verification on seller’s / buyer’s credentials like name, website, address, phone number, etc.
- Transfer the money only when you receive the goods and make sure if you do the transfer through the recommended payment methods of the reputed ecommerce platforms
- Fraudsters deposit extra amount than the actual negotiated price of the product intentionally and in the pretext of refunding the money they loot money from the sellers by the way of requesting you to scan the QR code or alternatively requests you to send your UPI or OTP Password
- Never Transfer money while doing phone conversations
- To receive the money, you don’t need to scan the QR code or share the OTP / UPI numbers.
Lost Money Online, then here what to do? :
- Most of these are men/women who are posing as a middle-aged target, Who are financially sound to take advantage The “CFCFRM” Citizen Financial Cyber Fraud Reporting and Management System is a platform that integrates law enforcement agencies and banks and financial intermediaries, this facility empowers both the banks and cybercrime police sharing online fraud information online almost in real-time. It is supported with a dedicated support number 155260 and website https://cyberpolice.nic.in.
Process of Complaining on 155260 :
- Victims can call dedicated support number 155260, which is managed by the respective State Cyber Crime Police officers.
- The cybercrime police officer notes down the fraud transaction details (A/C number, Wallet, UPI, Transaction ID, Date, Card Details Etc.) and other basic personal information of the caller and submits a request on the portal
- The Requests gets connected to the concerned Banks, Wallets, Merchants, and so on, depending on whether they are the victim’s bank or the bank/wallet in which the defrauded money has gone.
- An SMS is also sent to the victim with an acknowledgment number of the complaint with directions to submit complete details of the fraud on the portal within 24 hours, using the acknowledgment number.
- The concerned Bank, can see the request details on the Reporting Portal, checks /validates the details within its internal systems.
- If the victim’s money is still available, the Bank puts it on hold. If the victim’s money has moved out to another Bank, the request gets routed to the next subsequent banks. This process is repeated and if the money found, it is reversed to the victim’s bank account.