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All You Need To Know About Financial Cyber Crime Through Fake Message For Electricity Disconnection

Financial cyber crime has become a big challenge for banking industries as well as Law Enforcement Agencies.  Cyber criminals are using various types of modus operandi for committing financial cyber fraud.

Nowadays, different types of fraud messages are being circulated by fraudsters for updating the electricity bill wherein it is mentioned that “Dear Consumer, Your Electricity power will be disconnected tonight at 09:30 PM from the electricity office because your previous month bill was not updated Please immediately contact with our electricity officer on his mobile No. 652xxxxxx. Thank you.”

Some messages contain a fake mobile number and phishing link also. Once the victim discloses his payment credentials like debit card or credit card number, expiry date, CVV and OTP etc. to the fraudster through phone call or phishing link, his account gets debited.

MODUS OPERANDI:

Cyber criminals send such type of fraud messages to the target person stating that his electricity power will be disconnected tonight due to non-updation of the previous month’s bill in the system. When the victim calls on a fake mobile number mentioned in the message, the fraudster requests him to disclose his debit card or credit card No., expiry date, CVV and OTP etc. Once the target person (victim) shares such payment credentials, his bank account gets debited. 

Cyber criminals also use another modus operandi to dupe the victim.  In this technique, when the victim calls on the fake mobile number mentioned in the message, the fraudster sends a link to victim’s mobile number and requests him to click on the link and install the “AnyDesk” or “TeamViewer QuickSupport” app. Such apps are used to remotely access the mobile phone or computer system. Subsequently, fraudster sends another link to install “AutoForward SMS” app which is SMS forwarder app. Once app gets installed, the fraudster requests the victim to provide a remote access code. After getting the code, fraudster is able to access and control the victim’s mobile phone remotely.

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Further, fraudster sends another link to the victim and requests to click and pay a nominal electricity bill updation charge of Rs. 10/-. The victim clicks on the link and enters his payment credentials and OTP. The victim also accepts UPI collect requests by clicking on the UPI collect request link and enters UPI PIN. Consequently, the amount of Rs. 10/- gets debited from the victim’s account. Meanwhile, the fraudster notes down the payment credentials as having already taken remote access of victim’s mobile. Thus, the fraudster uses the victim’s payment credentials such as debit card or credit card number, expiry date, CVV, PIN, password etc. for fraudulent online transactions and also get OTP for such transactions through remote access app or through an SMS forwarder app.

ALSO READ: Know All About Financial Cyber Crimes And Preventive Measures

HOW TO PREVENT FROM SUCH TYPE OF CYBER FRAUD:

  • Do not panic after receiving such messages and simply ignore and delete it because such messages are fake. In case of any problem related to your electricity bill, you may visit at electricity office or you may contact at official number of the electricity department which is available at the electricity bill or their official website.
  • Never call on those numbers which are mentioned in such messages.
  • Never click on the link mentioned in such messages.
  • Do not make payment using links received from unknown sources. It may be a deceptive link.
  • If you receive link for installing AnyDesk or TeamViewer QuickSupport app or AutoForward SMS app, do not install it otherwise, you may be defrauded.
  • Do not install app on your mobile using link. For installing app, please directly visit at Play Store/ App Store.
  • Do not share your payment credentials such as debit card or credit card number, expiry date, CVV, PIN, password, OTP etc. to anyone.
  • Do not share your personal sensitive information such as date of birth, Aadhaar number, PAN etc. to anyone over phone call/ messages.

Reporting of Financial Cyber Fraud: 

In case of Financial Cyber Fraud, immediately call at National Cyber Crime Reporting Helpline Number 1930 or register your complaint at National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal https://cybercrime.gov.in. In addition to that also visit to your Bank or contact to bank’s toll-free numbers to avoid further loss and for disabling online banking channels such as debit card, credit card, internet banking, mobile banking, UPI etc. Bank’s toll-free numbers are also mentioned on the back side of debit card, credit card and also available at Bank’s official websites.

Satyendra Sharma is Chief Manager (IT) in PNB

Disclaimer: “All contents presented in this article are personal views of author. These contents can not be treated as official views of the author.”

Satyendra Sharma is Chief Manager (IT) in PNB, Head Office, New Delhi and he is also Nodal Officer for Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C), MHA.

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