VIJAYAWADA: If you receive a message in your mobile phone from any unknown number stating that your power connection will be disconnected as the bill you paid was not updated, do not panic. Ignore the message. Don’t share any personal information with the number given in the message. It is the handiwork of some cyber fraudsters, who want to swindle money from you.
For instance, Pavan Kumar (name changed), a Vijayawada resident, received a message three days ago from an unknown number stating that his power bill was pending and warning that his power connection will be disconnected. He was also told to contact the number in the message to complete the payment process.
When he contacted the number in the message, the person on the other side sent him a link and asked him to finish the bill payment through the link. “Though I paid the bill, I received the message from the same number twice. I opened the link which redirected me to an unsafe website. I closed it immediately and lodged a complaint with Cyber Crime police,” Pavan Kumar told TNIE.
Based on the complaint, cybercrime police launched an investigation into the purported fake messages from cyber fraudsters who tried to dupe the public in the name of Central Power Distribution Corporation Limited (CPDCL) officials.
“A case has been registered against the fraudster. When we tried to trace the number mentioned in the message, it was found to be fake. We urge the public not to believe in such messages and lose their money to fraudsters,” said the cybercrime police inspector K Srinivas. When contacted, M Siva Prasad Reddy, CPDCL, explained that no electricity department official will approach the consumers through messages for pending bills.
The power connection of defaulters will be disconnected before 2 pm after informing in person and duly following the protocols. “Public should be aware of the rules and alert us if anyone is trying to approach them claiming themselves as officials,” the SE explained.
Take notice: The message received from fraudsters
Dear consumer, Your Electricity power will be disconnected tonight at 9.30 pm from the electricity office because your previous month’s bill was not update. Please contact immediately with our electricity officer no 6297735188.