Consumer loses one lakh in electricity bill fraud

Recently, cyber crimes involving new patterns such as fraudsters posing as customer care representatives and siphoning off money from people’s bank accounts are on the rise in the Anantapur district.
Image used for representational purpose.
Image used for representational purpose.

ANANTAPUR: A consumer has lost nearly Rs 1 lakh from his bank account in an electricity bill fraud, which is a new mode of cybercrime. In this, fraudsters send a message to random mobile numbers with a link stating their electricity bill is unpaid. The message even warns the people that they will disconnect the electricity supply to their homes if the bill is not paid in time.

In this way, the cyber fraudster approached the victim stating that he was due to pay three months of electricity bill and asked him to pay from his bank account, where he provided all the bank details, including OTP and lost Rs 1 lakh.

In the recent past, cyber crimes involving new patterns such as fraudsters posing as customer care representatives and siphoning off money from people’s bank accounts are on the rise in the Anantapur district.

In another instance, a retired government employee lost nearly a Rs 10 lakh government pension fund (GPF) amount from her bank account when she tried to check her account balance through Google on July 13.

The victim while opening the Google, received a call from a stranger posing as a bank customer care representative stating that her bank account was kept on hold and obtained her bank details and disconnected the call. Later, the victim found that nearly Rs 10 lakh was debited in two transactions from her bank account. On the other hand, the lack of requisite infrastructure to curb cybercrimes with the police department is proving to be a bane for the victims.

Despite lodging complaints with the police by the victims, the department owing to low manpower and inadequate funds has been not registering cases thus not probing the case in a comprehensive manner resulting in loss for the victims.

Cyber experts advise mobile users to approach police immediately when they receive messages from strangers to share bank PINs and OTPs and to refrain from opening unverified links received on Telegram, WhatsApp and other social media platforms. They also advised mobile users to open only original bank websites and not fake ones.

Cybercrime victims told to file complaints

Sudhakar Yadav, SI, Technical Wing, suggested that people should not share OTPs, passwords, Aadhaar and bank details with strangers. He suggested that cybercrime victims file a complaint at the toll-free number 1930 or cybercrime.gov.in.

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