Beware of new HSRP number plate cyber frauds

This article talks about new HSRP number plate related cyber frauds. It explains the different types of frauds, how its done, how to protect oneself from it and next steps.

Ravi, aged 63 yrs had a Honda car and a Honda Active two wheeler brought before 2019, He got a message on his phone that he needs to get his vehicles number plate changed to new HSRP number plate before February 17th to avoid a fine of up to 1000 rupees, to apply for new number plate click the below link. He clicked that link, there he entered the details related to both his vehicles, and paid 1400 rupees for new number plate, and he also opted for speedy delivery by paying another 1000 rupees. Later he came to know that the website he entered was fake and he lost the money he had paid.

Cyber criminals are using the rush to get their vehicle’s number plate changed to HSRP number plate before the deadline set by the government as a opportunity to loot them by sending them fraudulent fake websites resembling the genuine websites permitted for registration. Since the permitted websites have become very slow or timing out due to high demand, people are falling victims in search for alternate websites where they can register for getting new HSRP number plate before the deadline to avoid fines.

According to the Karnataka government notification, all vehicle owners are advised to book their HSRP only through https://transport.karnataka.gov.in or www.siam.in. As per recent statement by Karnataka Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy to a news channel, there may be an extension to this deadline. HSRP or High Security Registration Plate is a new form of number plate that is tamper proof and non reusable locks making it more secure, traceable and brings in uniformity.

How you can protect yourself from HSRP frauds :-

  • Always follow the principle of ‘ Zero Trust, Pause and Authenticate’ for all digital transactions and messages/offers from unknown people.
  • Never click on a hyperlink or scan a QR code or install any App provided in a message or mail by a stranger.
  • Never share personal sensitive information like Aadhaar or PAN details or your bank account or credit/debit card details with strangers or unknown websites.
  • If they claim to deliver the plates faster for additional money, its a scam.
  • Check if the site is secure. i.e. the website url must start with ‘https’,  if it does not then it may be scam.
  • Buy only from websites prescribed by the government of Karnataka.

If you are a victim of such fraud :-

Immediately call 1930 cyber helpline or file a complaint at cybercrime.gov.in website or nearby police station. If you have shared Aadhaar card copy, then block your Aadhaar card on Aadhaar website or mAadhaar App. If you think your device is infected with a malware, format it or factory reset after taking backup.

Legal remedies available to the victim :-

You can register a criminal case at your nearest cyber or regular police station, under the following legal sections or the Act as per sections prescribed by the police based on your case :

  • Section 378(Theft), 419 (punishment for cheating by impersonation) and 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), Section 424(extract data illegally), Section 441(criminal trespass), Section 467(Forgery), Section 468(Punishment for Forgery), and Section 471(Usage of Forged document) of Indian Penal Code(IPC).
  • Section 43 (Penalty and compensation for damage to computer, computing device etc.), section 65 (Tampering with computer), section 66 (punishment for computer related offences – a person committing data theft, transmitting virus into a system, destroying data, hacking, or denying access to the computer or network to an authorized person), section 66C(which prescribes penalties for identity theft and states that anyone who fraudulently or dishonestly uses a person’s identity information) and Section 66D (punishment for fraud by impersonation using computer resources) under of the Information Technology Act(IT) Act 2000.

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