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After fake SMS scam, Govt now warns against fake banking apps and fraudulent stock trading platforms

The government has issued a cautionary alert, this time targeting Android and iPhone users about the proliferation of perilous apps designed to siphon money from victims' bank accounts.

After fake SMS scam, Govt now warns against fake banking apps and fraudulent stock trading platforms snt
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First Published Apr 22, 2024, 11:51 AM IST

Last year, the government issued a cautionary alert to State Bank of India (SBI) account holders regarding a deceptive SMS scam. Messages purportedly from SBI's official channels circulated, urging users to update their PAN card details. The messages falsely threatened SBI account holders with account blockage on the YONO mobile app if they failed to comply via the provided link.

The Indian government's Fact Check department (PIB Fact Check) also intervened, issuing warnings to SBI account holders about these fraudulent SMS messages. Through a post on X, formerly Twitter, they clarified that these messages, mimicking official SBI communications and requesting PAN card updates to prevent YONO account suspension, were indeed fraudulent.

Once more, the government has issued a cautionary alert, this time targeting Android and iPhone users about the proliferation of perilous apps designed to siphon money from victims' bank accounts. These fraudulent apps have been specifically identified and listed on Cyber Dost, the Cyber-safety and Cybersecurity awareness handle managed by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India.

In particular, Android smartphone users are being warned about a counterfeit app posing as the legitimate Union Bank application. Dubbed "Union-Rewards.apk," this scam app mimics the official Android app of Union Bank and deceptively promises users various rewards.

"Protect yourself from fake malicious android applications. #CyberSafeIndia #CyberAware #StayCyberWise #I4C #MHA #fraud #newsfeed," reads a tweet on government of India's cybersecurity account, Cyberdost.

Recently, fake stock trading apps have emerged as a significant threat, causing innocent citizens across the country to lose lakhs of rupees. The cyber cell of the Indian government has issued a warning specifically to iPhone users regarding one such fraudulent stock trading app named Group-S. According to a screenshot shared, the app's publisher is identified as Chu Chi Quoc Huy.

Additionally, several other similarly perilous apps have been identified, including INSECG, CHS-SES, SAAI, SEQUOIA, and GOOMI. Notably, these apps are not registered under the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). They lure users into stock trading based on recommendations from fraudsters, who then deposit the required amount to buy shares into specific bank accounts. Fake profits are displayed in digital wallets, ultimately leading victims to suffer financial losses.

In response, SEBI has also cautioned investors to exercise vigilance and avoid engaging with any social media messages, WhatsApp groups, Telegram channels, or apps purporting to facilitate stock market access through FPIs or FIIs registered with SEBI. Such warnings emphasize the importance of staying informed and cautious in the digital investment landscape to safeguard against fraudulent activities.

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