Fraud Alert: Beware of Pathaan Download Links; Job Scams Are on the Rise
Yogesh Sapkale | 28 January 2023
After serious calls to boycott Pathaan, the film and a ridiculous controversy over the colour of costumes, this Hindi film starring Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone and John Abraham is creating new records at the box office—possibly aided with some well-orchestrated publicity. According to film critic Taran Adarsh, the film grossed Rs106 crore on the first day of its release worldwide. Now that there is a craze to watch Pathaan in India, people want to watch it for free. Many people are sharing links to download such free and pirated versions of the film on social media and chat platforms.
However, be careful before you rush to accept. Such links often contain malware or a Trojan that can infect your mobile or other electronic devices.
Fraudsters find ways to cheat all kinds of people—not merely movie buffs. In fact, with techies losing jobs in bulk, they, too, have become easy targets in their desperation to find alternatives. But more about this later. 
Risks of Pathaan Download
There are reports that the film, Pathaan, has been leaked over the internet. Most of the links that you find online claim they are for the film recorded with a high-definition (HD) camera. It means the print quality is not up to the mark. However, the issue that ought to worry us is not the quality of the film that is downloaded but whether you are downloading something else on your computer in the name of Pathaan. Remember, this happens with regularity every time something is extremely popular but needs payment, Pathaan is just the latest example. 
The file may or may not even contain the camera-recorded film you are chasing. Often, such links make completely false claims and are only used to spread malware and Trojans on the downloading devices. Unless you have an updated anti-virus or anti-malware, it is difficult to recognise the threat. 
I am sharing an example of how these links for piracy work (request you never to attempt it from your mobile/PC or laptop). When you open the link, it shows the required name of the file and asks you to generate a download link. However, after clicking on the link, you are redirected to some other websites. When I did that (I used a secure environment/ protection), I received an alert about a cross-site scripting attack. 
Cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks are a type of injection in which malicious scripts are injected into otherwise benign and trusted websites. XSS occurs when cybercriminals execute malicious JavaScript within a victim's browser.  
Remember, such malware not only harms you financially but can also destroy your electronic devices. In short, do not open any link to download pirated films, TV shows or any mobile application (apk) file. 
As far as Pathaan is concerned, there may still be a few pirated and camera-recorded versions available. Believe me, watching any screen recording is quite a pain for the eyes and ears. So, avoid it. 
Due to enhanced anti-piracy moves from the entertainment industry, it has become difficult for pirates to copy and spread it over the net. Since films are distributed in digital mode, it has a digital code written on the screens. Using this code found on a pirated copy, it becomes easy for police to track and trace the source of piracy and take action. You may have also noticed a similar code on your TVs. 
Unless the film is released online, chances are less that its pirated (and good quality) versions would be easily available. In case you are wondering, good quality prints of Black Panther Wakanda Forever and Avatar: The Way of Water, released a few months back, are still unavailable on Torrent sites. 
Coming back to downloading Pathaan, there are two risks. One is you will not get a good quality print of the film; second, most important, it will have hidden malware or Trojans. I would suggest you skip the trouble of downloading a pirated copy and go and watch the film in a theatre near your place.   
Job Scams
With more big tech companies like Microsoft and Google joining the ongoing layoff season, about 3,000 tech employees are now being laid off per day on an average in January globally, including in India. It also means the job-seeker's market has more people entering the already crowded space. 
Unfortunately, this has attracted cybercriminals who want to make a fast buck. The Delhi cyber crime branch arrested three people during raids conducted at Delhi, Gurugram and Fatehabad. The raids were conducted after thousands of youths were duped of crores of rupees in the name of providing online jobs by international cyber crooks based in China and Dubai, a report from ANI says.
Cybercriminals continue to send job offers through messaging apps. In one such incident, a son of an officer from the Indian Administrative Services (IAS) cadre lost Rs7 lakh. According to a report from Times of India, Vipul Kumar Sahi was offered Rs1,500-Rs3,000 per day for a part-time job. When he clicked on the link, he was asked to complete a task and was given Rs11,000 as a reward. 
These fraudsters lured him with a few more tasks and asked him to deposit money to complete them. He kept depositing more money to complete additional tasks and paid Rs7.43 lakh. When he was asked to deposit Rs5.83 lakh to complete the new task, Vipul told them that he had no money and asked for a refund. When he received no reply, he filed a case against the fraudsters. 
Last week, the economic offences wing (EOW) of Odisha police arrested an expert in information technology (IT) from Madhya Pradesh for his alleged involvement in the 'biggest job fraud racket' in the country. 
Dilip Tripathy, superintendent of police (SP) of EOW told IANS that Arpita Panchal, the accused arrested in conspiracy with other inter-state fraudsters, has duped about 50,000 job-seekers across the country including 22,000 from Odisha and Gujarat. These fraudsters created and designed at least nine websites that looked like government websites advertising various government jobs. 
Out of the nine websites, they were using four websites in Odisha and have duped at least 12,000 job-seekers from the state alone. These fraudsters collected Rs3,000 to Rs50,000 each from the candidates, the report says.
How To Report Cyber Fraud?
Do report cyber crimes to the National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal or call the toll-free National Helpline number, 1930. To follow on social media: Twitter (@Cyberdost), Facebook (CyberDostI4C), Instagram (cyberdostl4C), Telegram (cyberdosti4c). 
Stay Safe and No Compromise on Security!