How to protect yourself from the new COVID booster scam

Individual lives have been severely affected by the COVID-19 epidemic. Cybercriminals take advantage of this situation to make it easier for people to recover from the unforeseeable calamity.

Due to an increase in COVID cases caused by the spread of Omicron variants, India’s government began administering precautionary doses to citizens over 60. The government is taking steps to reduce the number of cases, but criminals are constantly coming up with more scams. The latest COVID booster shot scam saw fraudsters disguised as doctors to try and trick victims into giving their bank details. These are the tricksters’ methods of trying to con people.

The new scammer in town is the COVID booster shot

Miscreants disguised as medical professionals call people. Most often, they are elderly, since the precautionary booster was only given to senior citizens. Fraudsters ask the caller if the person has received the second dose, along with their address and phone number. Surprise, some callers have the required details, including the date and vaccination, which can be quite surprising.

Once they have all of the necessary information, fraudsters call again to see if the victim is interested in a booster jab or if they would like a slot. After confirming the time and date of the vaccination, the scammers sent an OTP to their mobile number. Scammers may also request that you download an app such as AnyDesk in order to assist with the booking. This OTP can be used to verify money transfers from victim’s bank accounts. All money taken from your bank account will be transacted once you have provided the OTP.

According to a report, most of the c frauds are occurring in rural areas, where older people don’t know much about internet banking, UPI or mobile apps for booking vaccine slots. They try to trick them into transferring money quickly by obtaining the OTP. Here are some ways to protect yourself from such frauds.

How can you protect yourself from COVID scams

If one is vigilant, fake/spam calls can be prevented for booking COVID slots or online banking fraud. Important note: The government doesn’t offer the possibility to book vaccine slots via telephone calls. You can only book vaccine slots by visiting Cowin portal, or Arogya Setu mobile app. You can get your vaccine by going to any vaccination center, even if it is not possible to do so online. It is advisable to carefully read any OTP before you take any action. You can also download anti-spam apps to highlight if it is spam.