LUDHIANA: If you pay your electric bill online, be wary of cyber scam. Four similar cases have been reported to the Ludhiana police’s cyber unit in the last few days, in which victims have lost lakhs of rupees to con artists.
FAKE BILL AND PAYMENT LINK TO CHEAT PEOPLE
According to officials, fraudsters provide payment links to customers via SMS and emails that name Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) so that they will trust it and make the payment.
Inspector Jatinder Singh, in charge of cyber cell-II told media, “We have received four such complaints in the last few of days. In each of the cases, the accused utilised the name of an e-wallet application called PayU.”
“Fraudsters send links to customers who use PayU e-wallet app, stating that their electricity bill is overdue and that they can pay it via the link. The victims pay through the link, but the funds are transferred to the accounts of the scammers rather than to PSPCL,” Singh said.
MANY BUSINESSMEN AND TRADERS TARGETTED
Police said some businessmen received the links, paid in lakhs for their factories and offices, and were scammed.”A man lost Rs 2.48 lakh to this new swindle in one case, and another complainant lost Rs 3.5 lakh. The emails and communications they get refer to the estimated amount of the pending PSPCL bill, implying that the power corporation’s customers data is being stolen,” Singh explained.
According to the official, the only way to avoid fraudsters is to make payments only through the PSPCL’s official website and mobile application.
“I would advise people to use only the official sites to make payments. People should not fall for any SMS or email offering bill savings or cash back. This is yet another method of luring them into committing fraud,” he said.
SUSPICION OF DATA LEAK
When a person clicks on the URL supplied by the fraudsters, a false page of PSPCL opens. As a result, the individual is unaware that he is making a payment to a fraudulent platform. Ludhiana police have written to the PSPCL authorities, and an investigation is underway to determine who released consumer data.
According to the officials, the police have received evidence that some agents pay internet bills of residents for a charge, and there is a possibility that their data is being sold. However, it has yet to be confirmed.