Ghaziabad: What will you do when tools and features made for customers’ convenience is being misused? Cybercriminals posing as a Google executive duped customers of a hospital by hijacking hospital’s emergency contact number.
Yes, con artists are finding innovative ways to steal your money. This time they forwarded all the calls landing at a private hospital in Vaishali, Ghaziabad to their own number. They then ask customers to make a payment of Rs 5 for doctors’ booking, but in the process steal banking details and withdraw their hard-earned money.
Modus Operandi of New Scam:
Scamsters posing as a Google executive called up helpline number of Chandra Laxmi Hospital from a mobile number 7047802338. He said that hospital’s registered number 8750068708 will be soon deleted from Google and they will stop getting calls as this number is not verified.
He asked the hospital staff to dial *72*704780233# from their number so that it can be registered and verified.
When hospital staff got to know about Google deleting their number they got a little worried and went ahead with dialling *72*704780233# from their helpline number. What they did not realise that their phone number is hijacked. The hospital then stopped receiving any call. All calls coming to their number was being diverted to the cybercriminals’ number using this trick.
How This Happens:
For the ease of customers, telecom companies have different codes, messages and call features through which such facilities like call forwarding can be availed. Call forwarding is often enabled by dialling *72* followed by the telephone number to which calls should be forwarded. Different telecom operators have different codes.
Here, in this case, the cybercriminal asked the hospital staff to dial *72*704780233# following which all calls got forwarded to this number.
How The Customers Were Duped
Once the calls by patients and other customers started landing on cybercriminals number they posed as hospital staff asked them to deposit a small token amount of Rs 5 to confirm their appointment with the doctors.
While the patient and customer tried to make the payment criminals send them wrong payment link or tried getting OTP for the transactions.
The incident came to light after over 10 patients contacted the hospital complaining that when they called the hospital and tried making a payment of Rs 5, a huge amount of money was deducted from their bank account.
Following such complaints, the hospital has contacted the Ghaziabad police to investigate the matter. Police are also trying to trace the mobile number and account in which money was transferred to crack the case.