Remember the viral electricity bill scam in which customers were threatened with power outages if they did not pay their bills quickly? The scam has returned to Bengaluru, and several locals have already lost thousands of rupees to cybercriminals.
A brief about Your electricity bill is due, and your service will be disconnected- Don’t click on this message because it’s a major scam
In a recent example, Aravind Kumar, a 56-year-old businessman, was defrauded of Rs 4.9 lakh under the guise of online electricity bill payment. According to The Hindu, the victim lives in Chamarajapet, Bengaluru, and has filed a complaint with West Division cyber crime police regarding the internet scam.
According to the report, he received a phone call from a man acting as a BESCOM (Bangalore Electricity Supply Company Limited) officer. Kumar received a phone call informing him that his electricity payment was due. And if the bill is not paid quickly, the electricity will be turned off. When the caller was asked how to pay the bill, he was sent a link to download the Teamviewer Quick assistance mobile app. However, as soon as Kumar downloaded the prescribed app, the scammer gained access to his bank account information and transferred all of the money to his account. The alleged fraudster stole Rs 4.9 lakh from the victim’s account.
Cybercriminals are leveraging the Truecaller link to get remote control of a smartphone
While a police report has been filed and the case is being investigated, the question of how the scam was started remains unanswered. Arvind, on the other hand, blindly followed the caller’s directions and downloaded the apps. It is worth noting that programs such as Teamviewer Quick support are designed to allow users to remotely watch smartphones or other devices. Scammers are also utilizing similar apps to deceive users. When Kumar downloaded the app and gave the access information, the scammer gained remote access to his smartphone and stole all of his banking information.
How to Protect Yourself from Scams
While the victim in the aforementioned case received a call, people in other reported incidents received SMS regarding their electricity bills. The message is sent by SMS or WhatsApp and includes a phone number to call the office or a phishing website that scammers use to get into victims’ handsets.
Here are some tips to assist you to determine whether the SMS you received regarding your electricity bill is genuine or fraudulent.
- Examine where you received an electrical bill message on your smartphone. Because all official government warnings are always delivered to registered mobile numbers.
- If you receive a message or a phone call stating that you must pay your bill immediately. Keep an eye out. Fraudsters frequently instill panic in their victims so that they do not have time to ponder and fall into the trap.
- Take your time reading the message you received. Examine the phone number from which you received the message. Check the message for grammatical problems as well. Before taking any action, always double-check your sources.
- If you have truly failed to pay your electricity account, you should contact the electrical board or supplier directly. Your prior electricity bills contain contact information.
- Other than electricity bills, scammers send communications about KYC updates, hacked accounts, gas connections, and so forth. Remember that official government departments seldom ask for specifics or call for assistance.