ONGC Employees become top target for huge cyber frauds

Delhi, January 01, Feb: The employees of the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation(ONGC), both retired and serving, have been reportedly targeted by a large network of cyber fraudsters across India leading to a massive chaos and panic. The cyber fraud has gone to such an extent that even the Directors of the company and senior service chiefs are also not spared.

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According to sources, At least two directors’ numbers were hacked last week to send WhatsApp messages to their juniors giving some orders. “Once you get a message to do something on WhatsApp, you will just rush to do that job without thinking twice. But these attacks have the potential to ransack the communications to a great extent.

Initially, the attacks were limited to retired employees who are often vulnerable people because of age and not much acquaintance with the huge technological shift in the transaction process of the banks and financial institutions. There have already been quite a number of senior officers who have become prey to the online scamsters and lost part of their savings, alleged sources.

There has been a large number of incidents of frauds on the senior ONGCians in the past few months on different pretexts. Sometimes, it is highly attractive offers of free travel coupons or hotel stay. Sometimes, it is job offers like online reviews of books, hotels, restaurants etc.

But most obnoxious one is the phones calls, masquerading as officials from ONGC’s retired cell, saying the the medical and other benefits, which the retired officers are getting, will be stopped as the record is not yet updated.

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“This creates a panic because the retired people are old and quite vulnerable. They are the easiest preys for all these cyber thieves, who will speak fluent English to impress you to think they are real,” explains another ONGC official, adding “ They say they have been told to help the senior retired officials for online submission of their life certificates and non-employment certificates, which are needed to avail medical and other superannuation benefits.”

The conversations will sound so real that even a young guy with cyber knowledge may fall trapped.

Sources said that a large number of complaints have been lodged with the cyber police in different places in the country by the ONGCians. The matter has gone to such a pass that the company also has started some cyber education for all the employees, both retired and serving through CISO (Chief Information Security Officer).

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ONGC has also reportedly issued ‘Dos and Don’ts’ circular for all the ONGCians so as to fight the cyber fraud attacks on the employees.
However, one of the most shocking aspects is the fact that the privacy data of the employees are found to be in the hands of the fraudsters. The question is whether privacy is breached or compromised, intentionally or unintentionally.

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