Your electricity bill is due, your supply will be disconnected: This message is a big scam, don’t click it

Your electricity bill is due, your supply will be disconnected: This message is a big scam, don’t click it

Divya Bhati

New Delhi,UPDATED: 23 December 2022 21:14 IST

By Divya Bhati: Remember the viral electricity bill scam where people received warnings about power cuts if they didn’t pay it quickly? Well, the scam is back in Bengaluru and many residents have already lost thousands to cyber fraudsters.

In a recent case, a 56-year-old businessman named Aravind Kumar was cheated of Rs 4.9 lakh on the pretext of online electricity bill payment. According to a report by The Hindu, the victim is a resident of Chamarajapet, Bengaluru and has filed a cyber fraud complaint with the West Division cyber crime police on Saturday.

In the report, he states that he received a call from a man posing as a BESCOM (Bangalore Electricity Supply Company Limited) official. The caller informed Kumar that his electricity bill is due. And if it is not paid immediately, the electric power supply will be disconnected. When asked how to pay the bill, the caller forwarded him a link to download the Teamviewer Quick support mobile app. But as soon as Kumar downloaded the instructed app, the fraudster accessed his bank account details and transferred all the money into his account. The fraudster allegedly stole Rs 4.9 lakh from the victim’s account.

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Cybercriminals using the Truecaller link to access remote control over your smartphone

While a complaint has been lodged at the police station and the case is under investigation, the question remains as to how the fraud was initiated. Well, Arvind followed the caller’s instructions without question and downloaded the apps. Here it is important to note that apps like Teamviewer Quick support are designed to help users remotely view smartphones or other devices. And fraudsters use such apps to trick people. When Kumar downloaded the app and shared the access details, the fraudster gained remote access to his smartphone where he stole all the banking details stored on his smartphone.

How to stay safe from such scams

While the victim in the above case was called, in other reported incidents people received SMS regarding the electricity bill. The message is sent via SMS or WhatsApp and includes a number to contact the office or a phishing link that fraudsters use to hack into victims’ smartphones.

Here are some points that will help you check if the SMS you get regarding your electricity bill is real or fake.

  1. Check where you received a message related to your electricity bill on your smartphone. Like all public official notifications, they are always sent to registered mobile numbers.
  2. If you receive a message or call from someone saying you need to pay the bill ASAP. Be alert. Fraudsters often create a need to panic, so that they don’t have time to think and fall into the trap.
  3. Read the received message carefully. Check the number you received the message from. Also check for grammatical errors in the message. Always check the sources before doing anything.
  4. In the event that you have really missed paying your electricity bill, contact the electricity board or supplier directly. The contact information is available on your previous electricity bills.
  5. Apart from electricity bills, scammers also send messages related to KYC updates, accounts hacked, gas connections and so on. Remember that official authorities never ask people for details or call to help in fi

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