Beware, cybercriminals offering ‘Free Omicron Test’, warns MHA

Amid a rise in Omicron cases, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has issued an advisory against cybercriminals targeting potential victims by offering them free tests for detecting Omicron variant of COVID-19.

The cyber and information security division of MHA has issued an advisory that reads: “Cybercriminals are taking advantage of lowering of cyber defences due to the shift of focus to the health crisis. Cybercriminals are always finding new ways to defraud citizens. As nowadays Omicron variant themed cybercrimes are increasing every day.

Cybercriminals are employing various tactics to perpetrate cybercrimes to capitalise on the rapidly evolving situation to defraud innocent victims.”

Further, it mentioned that fraudsters send e-mails regarding PCR testing for Omicron with the attached malicious links and malicious files.

“Government and Private Health Services are being mimicked (e.g. their names are used as senders) in such attempts to scam innocent citizens. Potential victims clicking on the links are pointed towards fake websites created by fraudsters that look similar to government/private health services, where citizens can apply for a COVID-19 Omicron PCR test”.

“The lure of a free Omicron PCR test allowing citizens to avoid Omicron related restrictions imposed by governments is presented to potential victims. Cybercriminals attain personal details and banking credentials through this method for committing further cybercrimes such as financial cyber frauds, identity theft, etc,” it says.

The government advised people to scrutinise the domain name and URL to check the authenticity of the websites and report any such incidents on the portal.

Meanwhile, India’s Omicron case tally has surpassed 1,200.

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