Press 9 To Lose Your Hard-Earned Money: How This Major Scam Is Ruining Lives


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Scammers have used Fedex as their source of attacks which has affected thousands.

Scammers have used Fedex as their source of attacks which has affected thousands.

FedEx scams have become rampant in the country and people are falling for their attacks because of how relatable the details are shared with them.

It is 10 am in the morning and Ajay is ready to head out for work. He gets a worrying call from the FedEx stating there is an illegal shipment on his name confiscated by the law agencies. Then he gets a follow up call, asking to press 9 and connect with the customer care to rectify the issue and clear his name from the situation.

And that’s where the scam takes shape, ready to pounce on any weakness of the person and force them into sharing personal details that can be misused. These scams have become a major issue for people and even the law enforcement agencies. In fact, FedEx has shared an advisory to warn people about these scams, which the company was forced into doing because of its name being used for nefarious reasons.

So, why is the scam happening, how is it taking place and what is the ‘Press 9 to get scammed’ offer that has got everyone worried? We spoke to a few cybersecurity experts to get a low down on these attacks and how these take shape.

Where It All Starts

The scammers prompt users to press the number ‘9’ for further support and parcel details. Upon pressing ‘9,’ the call connects to a representative who also poses as a customs department official. “It becomes very easy for these victims to fall into the trap because they feel that is actually the real call happening,” Ruchir highlighted the script of these attacks.

In most cases, the situation created by the scammer is relevant to the person, who could be late with its IT returns or checked out an online deal and now gets a chance to win a lottery. Like we said, these scams play with the fear psyche of the person and in some cases catch them off guard before they realise they are being scammed.

The advent of AI makes these scams harder to decipher, especially if you hear a voice cloned person talking or just the AI voice system talking to you on the phone.

Millions Don’t Know About These Threats

For most people in India, phones were the first mobile device they used rather than computers. The rapid digitisation played its part in helping these scammers find easy targets. “There is a huge generation which went on the internet for the first time on a mobile device, bypassing a PC or laptop completely. Because of this transition, people are less aware about the risks of viruses and how they need protection,” said Ruchir Shukla, MD, SafeHouse Tech India.

“These types of fraud usually try to create a sense of urgency or employ scare tactics to coerce the victim into complying with the attacker’s requests,” Lukas Stefanko, Malware Analyst, ESET explains what makes these scams work.

The biggest weapon that these scammers use to target their victims is data and the relevance of it. If they can get details about your mobile operator or even the electricity board and somehow get the account details as well, that’s enough for them to probe the victim and try to get more information out of them which will never feel like it was forcefully done.

“Scammers often employ tactics like fake notifications, urgent messages, or enticing offers to trick users into downloading malicious apps,” as highlighted by Harish Kumar GS, Head of Sales, Check Point Software Technologies, India & SAARC.

There is a very good reason why many of us get so many SMSs and emails warning about sharing their OTPs with unknown callers, in fact FedEx has been forced into pushing this message on social media to stop them from falling prey to these scams that have wreaked havoc lately.

“Some scammers even employ call spoofing, using legitimate phone numbers to bolster their credibility, and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology to obscure their actual numbers and locations,” Stefanko shared the information with a strong word of caution.

How Do I Not Become A Victim?

Now that we have heard the experts talk about the source of these attacks, you can clearly see that the fault in many ways lies with the victim. And that’s how they want all of us to take heed about such calls or attempts to hijack your account and steal money.

It is vital that people don’t share personal information with callers. Banks, FedEx or even the government will never call you and ask for these details.

Getting calls from the CID or the police can get you nervous but it is important that you don’t let it affect your sense of judgement which can be misused by these scammers. Always cross-check for details about the caller, the company they belong to and even see their website to see if things match out.

The other important step to follow is to keep all the apps and software on your devices up-to-date so that any security flaw cannot be exploited by these attackers.



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