Telangana: Cyber fraudsters using new ‘power’ trick to trap citizens

Cybercrime officials said that fraudsters will initially send the target's phone a message via SMS or WhatsApp.

Hyderabad: Cybercriminals are now focusing on power bills after previously thieving money through a variety of methods.

Recent incidents in the city demonstrate that con artists are contacting clients under the guise of the electricity board workers and tricking them into paying pending bills or risking losing electricity.

Several cases have been recently reported where fraudsters are contacting customers posing as employees of the electricity board and conning them on the pretext of clearing pending bills or facing power cuts.

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Cybercrime officials said that fraudsters will initially send the target’s phone a message via SMS or WhatsApp.

When the latter responds, they identify themselves as representatives of the local electricity board and notify the customer that the power supply will be cut off later that day or that night since they have not paid their electricity bills.

The fraudsters then force the target to download an application on their mobile phone which he suggests and shares a link for the transaction. Then they promise the target a callback but meanwhile, scamsters loot the money from their bank account. A few cases of people losing their money to fraudsters have already been reported in the city.

In one such case, a customer received a message from the mobile number 9531039190 that was poorly written and stated that the “electrical power will be disconnected. 10.30 pm Contact the electrical office at 9064579675 if your bill hasn’t been adjusted.”

On dialing the number, a person called back and insisted to download an application from the Google Play store and make the payment. The customer refused and tried to ask for more details from the person about the issue and the call was immediately disconnected.

Cybercrime officials said that if an unsuspecting consumer downloads the link, the fraudster uses it to gain access to their bank account login credentials and wuld withdraw money.

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