Fake profiles

Fake profiles; scammers impersonating US commander in Afghanistan

Social media has witnessed a serious hype in cyber-crimes. Hackers were using various techniques to compromise users account and steal personal information. The most common type of strategy used by the scammers are phishing links and impersonation. Even when the company is ensuring strict protocols to defend cyber scams, the threat actors finds their own way to exploit the users. As people spend their majority time in social media, the chances of attack has increased. In most of the cases, people are tricked by using fake accounts impersonating legitimate people.

Recently, in the Kabul region of Afghanistan, cyber security officers have found people being exploited using fake accounts claiming to be the US commander in Afghanistan. More than hundred accounts have been compromised by these hackers.

In most of the cases, the impersonated account was found to be in the name of General Scott Miller. This scam was spreading through social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. According to the reports, these cyber groups are also targeting on Google Hangouts, Pinterest and Scrabble app.

The main intention of these groups is to extract money and personal informations including financial credentials, gift cards and cell phone numbers.

The cyber security crew warned people that General Scott Miller does not own a public social media account and the hackers are trying to deceive people through falsely created fake accounts to steal sensitive information. They also said that, if at all anyone came across such happenings, report it to USFOR-A and block the account.

Once the warning went viral, one of the Twitter users Lenna Dunagon claimed that she has been contacted by around 60 Miller fake accounts through various platforms, out of which one of the person was found to be 49 year old man from Africa. But till now he didn’t open up to the cyber cell on how he got the information.

Another victim of the attack, Elke Gloyer told that she has been experiencing exploitations from fake accounts every day from fake accounts, which she felt like an ‘endless war’.

General Scott Miller has been serving US and NATO forces for years and has remained inactive for nearly two and a half years.

While in the service, he was given the charge of the Twitter accounts of the positions of USFOR-A and NATO support commander. The noticing factor is that he has not posted a single tweet after he got the authority of the accounts.

The government has announced a detailed investigation in this case and has decided to bring down the cyber groups.

Impersonation scams

Impersonation scams happens when a person uses fake accounts, messages and phone calls to trick the target and leaks his personal information, financial data and other sensitive information.

How can you identify an impersonation scam?

  • When a person, even a familiar one contacts you from nowhere asking about your personal or financial information or to transfer money.
  • When someone urges you to do something quickly claiming that ‘your money is at risk’ or ‘your account will get blocked’, if the given instructions is followed.
  • The email address is different with that of the legitimate sender.

Types of impersonation scams

  • Transfer money to a ‘safe’ account scam.
  • Problem with the network scam.
  • Police impersonation scam.
  • Outstanding HMRC tax bill.

Tips to avoid impersonation scams

  • Protect your account by limiting the personal information.
  • Study about phishing scams and the ways to detect and prevent them.
  • Before making any payments, verify the identity of the receiver.
  • Establish a dual control system for payments. For a transaction to take place, two person need to give permission. This reduces the risk of scams.
  • Do regular check-up of your social media.

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