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A Cybercrime Victim Turned Advocate for Financial Fraud Prevention

© Photo : Special ArrangementsChunduri Radha Krishnamurthy
Chunduri Radha Krishnamurthy - Sputnik India, 1920, 31.01.2024
A total of 65,893 cases of cybercrime were reported in 2022, and the numbers are exponentially increasing every year. Sputnik India speaks with a cybercrime survivor who turn his horror into passion.
Chunduri Radha Krishnamurthy, 29, is prepared to introduce a new mobile application called The Vault, designed to protect users from online financial fraud scams.
Krishnamurthy, a cybercrime survivor, fell victim to a scam when he downloaded a loan app that hacked his phone gallery, manipulated his image, and shared it with all of his phone contacts.

"I was subjected to intense bullying and went into depression after my morphed image went viral in 2018. I was often being labeled as a rapist, kidnapper, and fraudster," Krishnamurthy said.

Learning from his mistakes, Krishnamurthy decided to help people from safeguarding them if they get trapped in such deepfake or financial scams. He also founded 'The Global Security Council to help people.

How Loan Scam Harassed An Individual?

Originally from a rural area of Andhra Pradesh, Krishnamurthy graduated in computer science and later pursued social work. To make ends meet he took a job as a technical content writer. Short on money, he downloaded a loan application on his phone after his friend suggested. The application that turned his life into a living nightmare.
"The loan company immediately transferred INR 6,000 ($73) to my account. I didn't even apply for it, and then after a day or so, I started receiving calls from the company who asked me to return the money with 18 percent interest on a daily basis," Krishnamurthy explained.
Krishnamurthy told them that he had no problem in returning the money — but he wouldn't pay back the interest as he never applied for the loan.
"I lost my phone, and soon after I got a new phone, the application got delisted from Playstore. But, by that time, they had morphed all my photos from the gallery and shared them with contacts," he said.
"Meanwhile, as naked morphed images of mine went viral, people started labelling me a rapist, fraudster, and kidnapper," the 29-year-old recalled.
Krishnamurthy said that this was a time of utter mental trauma for him, "I want to tell everyone that I'm innocent and have done nothing wrong," the entrepreneur added.
© Photo : Special ArrangementsChunduri Radha Krishnamurthy
Chunduri Radha Krishnamurthy - Sputnik India, 1920, 31.01.2024
Chunduri Radha Krishnamurthy

From Being a Victim to Empowering Others

Krishnamurthy then said after the incident and being ostracised other people, one day, he received a call from then-commissioner of police V C Sajjanar of Telangana.
The commissioner's number was saved in his contact, and he, too, received morphed images of Krishnamurthy.

"During my conversation with the commissioner, I had a realization," the young man said. "If I, someone who has some knowledge of cybersecurity, can become a victim, then what about others? At that moment, I decided to something for society."

After that, Krishnamurthy expanded his knowledge on cybersecurity and how the scammers work.
"I realised how big the chain is, and how they work. They're spread across different states and work in a very close network. They are working near the border or vulnerable areas, making it difficult to catch them," he explained.
After helping several cybercrime victims, Krishnamurthy launched the Global Security Council to assist such individuals.

Murthy said he checks victims' phones, tries to locate VPN and IP addresses and checks if their phone security is compromised with third party.

So far, the entrepreneur has assisted about 32 victims of defamation and financial fraud.
When asked what one piece of advice he would give any phone user, he said: "Don't turn greedy. Nobody can make money with one click. Such advertisements are scams."
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