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Cyber Fraudsters Demand Ransom From Seniors In Cryptocurrency, Here Is How To Stay Vigilant

Senior citizens are prone to cyber fraud in the digital world because of their lack of knowledge of digital products. Here are a few ways to be aware and stay vigilant

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Outlook Money
August 28, 2023
Cyber Fraudsters

Cyber Fraudsters

Fraudsters sending malicious emails to hack into your banking accounts or resorting to cyber bullying with the intention of blackmail through threatening emails is neither new nor unheard of.

However, recently they have started demanding ransom in cryptocurrency, and the targets are senior citizens, who are typically not well versed with digital technology.

In fact, a few incidents came to light where senior citizens made complaints of receiving threatening emails asking them to pay the ransom demanded in cryptocurrency, according to a report in the Times of India.

One of the incidents involved a 73-year-old lady in Kolkata who was asked to pay $600 in one such email. The old lady panicked and deleted the mail, and reset her device. She also lodged a complaint regarding the threatening email with Kolkata Police.

In another case, the 66-year-old man received a threatening mail asking him to pay $740 as ransom. It was about the senior watching sexually explicit content, and ransom was asked in negotiation for not disclosing it to the law enforcement agencies.

In one more case, a 65-year-old woman received a mail asking her to pay $700 claiming that her chats with her son had been hacked and that if she did not pay the ransom, the sender of the mail would reveal her addiction to sexual content to her son. The old woman informed the police.

The newspaper reported a police officer as saying that, “In all these cases, the standard of English is noteworthy”.

According to law enforcement officers, while in the past, those targeted for ransom were mainly entities who were threatened with denial of access to important files on their computers or servers, but now seniors are being targeted for ransom.

One reason for this, according to a police officer is that seniors are not well versed with cryptocurrency, which could be the reason these miscreants think that seniors would get panicked and pay the ransom.

According to a police officer, the targets (senior citizens) are given the impression that their hacking would make the device corrupt, and they would not be able to communicate with their children settled abroad.

As of now, the hackers have, however, only sent the threatening emails, but not launched any ransom attack now, the report quoted a police officer as saying.

Stay Aware In The Digital World

So, here are a few ways in which seniors can stay safe in the digital world. 

  • Seniors need to stay aware of the digital world. It could be difficult, but they should not avoid it and depend on others.
  • The last two decades have been quite monumental in digital development, as has been the rise in number of digital crimes. In the fast-developing digital world, people may be unaware of to which extent their data is being shared and used. But, if one stays aware, one can save oneself from such incidents. Awareness in this context means, not sharing of passwords, PINs, or OTPs with anybody, no clicking on the links in the messages, no downloading of apps from unsecured sources, keeping the devices updated with the relevant antivirus, and informing the police where they get such emails demanding ransom.
  • One can report the crime to the cybercrime portal’s 24/7 helpline at 1930.
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