Friday, September 24, 2021

Coronavirus: Don’t share SMS codes, warns FIA as cyber crime cases surge


KARACHI: Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Thursday said that the cybercrime incidents have witnessed a surge during coronavirus pandemic and the criminals have found new ways to lot masses, ARY NEWS reported.

In an alert issued today, the agency while detailing the modus operandi of the criminals said that they approach a citizen, asking SMS code from him.

“Basically it’s a WhatsApp verification code,” it said adding that after acquiring it, the criminals approach the victim’s relatives using his ID to demand transfer of amount through Easypaisa.

Around 10 percent increase is reported in such cases during the past few days since coronavirus gripped the country, the FIA crime circle said adding that majority of members operating the gang hail from middle class families.

Citizens should avoid sharing any sort of codes to anyone, the director FIA said.

On 20 February, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) said that it had received over 56,000 complaints relating to cyber crime during 2019 and registered 1086 cases against the accused.

The details were shared by the FIA officials during the meeting of the National Assembly’s standing Committee on Defense, chaired by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) MNA Amjad Nizai.

The officials said that out of the 56,696 complaints received by the agency, 11028 were investigated and 1086 cases were registered against the accused involved in cyber crime activities.

Read More: FIA arrests two men over blackmailing woman in Karachi

“We have raised the number of the anti-cyber crime offices to 15 to improve action against such acts,” they said adding that currently there are over 70 million internet users in the country.

They said that a majority of the cyber crime cases reported to them were related to sexual harassment, blackmailing and obscene activities online.

“We have also held a child pornography gang operating globally and one of the Pakistani accused is convicted in the case,” they said.

The FIA officials said that they had also busted a gang-comprising of PTA officials-  involved in activating IMEI numbers without tax payment. “An investigation in the case is ongoing,” they said.

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