New Delhi: The number of cybercrime cases in India is increasing daily. According to NCRB, India reported 4,047 cases of online banking fraud, 2,160 cases of ATM fraud, 1,194 cases of credit/debit card fraud and 1,093 cases of OTP fraud. Another scammer recently tricked hundreds of people across the country. In the latest scam, scammers inform victims via SMS that their utility bill is overdue and that they need to pay it by clicking on the link provided.
This utility bill scam has been going on for several months and scammers have managed to drain many users’ bank accounts. While smartphone users should be wary of such scams, a recent report indicates that cybercrime officials have arrested individuals behind the scam in a district of Jharkhand. However, this does not rule out the possibility of similar incidents occurring in the future. You should never click on links sent to you via SMS or WhatsApp.
According to cybercrime officials, the utility bill fraud originated in Jamtara, Jharkhand. These scammers hacked people’s phones and sent them a text message stating that their electricity bill was unpaid and they had to pay it immediately.
The gang reportedly first contacted SIM card providers to obtain bulk SIM cards to send scanned messages to people. These scammers then opened a bank account to receive the fraudulent funds. Then they sent messages to people asking them to pay their outstanding utility bills.
Majority of people get the following scam message: “Dear consumer, your electricity will be cut off tonight because your previous month’s bill has not been updated. Please click on the following link to pay the bill.”
When the victim clicks the link in the text message, they are redirected to either a phone caller or a website where they are asked to pay their outstanding utility bill. People who were unaware of the scam often entered their bank account information and the money was withdrawn directly from the account. In most cases, these phone callers pretended to be BSES officers and requested bank account information.
Over a thousand complaints about the utility bill fraud have been filed across the country, according to Delhi Police.
According to recent reports, the Cybercrime Division of Delhi Police has arrested 65 people for allegedly defrauding people using this utility bill scam. According to reports, most of these scams were carried out from Jamtara in Jharkhand, West Bengal, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. The Jamtara gang in particular is known for scamming people in various ways.
(See Zee News for more information on Cyber News)