Suspecting something messy in the entire issue, he tried to access his e-mail account and realised that his password had been changed. Following this, he approached the cyber police. During the probe, the investigators discovered that an unidentified accused had hacked into his e-mail account and had sent mails to everyone on his contact list.
An officer from the cyber police said, “The mail contained a plea to help him financially as he was stuck in Spain and had run out of money. He asked his friends to send him $1,000 to a bank account number he provided to bail him out. He added that he had lost his cell phone and hence could not be contacted over the phone."
The police added that in this case fortunately there was no such monetary loss. Earlier the hackers used to sent e-mails to common people asking for monetary help. But, recently the hackers have changed their old games and technique and started off with innovative methods of hacking personal accounts and sending mails, since the chances of someone helping out a friend are much more than helping a stranger.
“The technique is called 'speared phishing" wherein a cyber criminal sends out personalised emails to a select group of people. Earlier, there would be general emails sent out to lakhs of people but were impersonal in nature," said cyber expert Vijay Mukhi.
Pankaj Bafna, a cyber crime lawyer said, “Of late, there have been varied methods employed by cyber criminals. Another prevalent trend is e-mails carrying the signature of law enforcement agencies such as CBI and Interpol." He added that the e-mails ironically warn people against online fraud while simultaneously asking them to feed in their personal details on the link attached to the mail for safety purposes.