Chandigarh: The Punjab Police on Saturday cautioned against a phishing attack wherein fake messages assuring 2,000 as COVID-19 relief package from the government are being sent to people with an aim to steal their data.

The warning was issued by the Digital Investigation Training and Analysis Centre of the Punjab Police State Cyber Crime Cell.

The fraud messages containing a URL (universal resource locator) are being circulated via instant messaging services like SMS and WhatsApp.

The cybercriminals ask the users to click on the link to receive the money in their bank accounts and in turn get access to their data, said an official spokesperson.

“These kinds of phishing attacks could permit cybercriminals to assume control of your device by logging your keystrokes, or access your own data and money related information, which could lead to emptying your bank account,” the official said.

According to the spokesperson, the message reads: “The Government has finally approved and has started giving out free 2,000 Relief Funds to each citizen. Below is how to claim and get yours credit instantly as I have just did now https://covid19-relieffund.com/. You can only claim and get credited once and it’s also limited so get your now instantly.”

Once someone clicks on the link, a page opens with a congratulatory message, saying: “Get free 7,000 instantly to your bank account. Please complete the survey to avail free lockdown relief funds.”

The police urged people to remain extremely cautious and ignore suspicious URL links on social media platforms.

“If anyone comes across any such message, through any social media platform, do not forward it to others but delete it immediately. Clicking on such links pose high risks because it could be malware which could redirect you to other fraudulent sites which may lead to financial loss to the user,” the spokesperson cautioned.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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