One of the most significant gifts that science has bestowed upon humanity is electricity. It has also assimilated into contemporary life, and it is impossible to imagine existence without it. There are numerous uses for electricity in daily life. So we become hopeless either or if any type of electric disconnect occurs. Recently an electric bill scam is in the news that creates trouble for people who use online payment methods. In the latest scam, scammers send victims an SMS containing a link that claims their delinquent electricity bill must be settled by clicking on the link. Since several months ago, scammers have been defrauding subscribers of their electricity bills, emptying their bank accounts in the process.
Let’s understand how this online electricity bill payment is done.
Online electricity bill payment
- Visit the website’s page for paying your electricity bill
- Choose the appropriate state and power board.
- Click “Proceed” after entering your customer’s unique service number in the electricity bill. This is often known as a CA number, consumer number, account number, etc. To locate the customer identification number, consult the sample electricity bill.
- Use your favorite payment option, such as Paytm Wallet, a debit/credit card, net banking, or UPI, to complete the transaction
- Your electricity bill will be paid in a few minutes once you’ve finished making your payment!
What is the result of non-payment of electricity bill?
Your electricity bills must be paid in whole before the due date. You will be required to pay late fines if you don’t do this. In addition, the electricity board office will issue you notice if you continue to fail to pay your account after the due date has passed. If no action is taken, your electricity connection will be permanently disconnected.
The service number in the electricity bill helps the respective electric supply board to find if there is any non-paid amount for that consumer. At this point, an electricity complaint number gets generated. This creates an electric disconnect for that respective household or company.
How does an electric disconnect create an Electricity Bill scam?
Advancement of Technology isn’t making life easier; on the contrary, it’s becoming a disruptor and presenting everyday people with greater difficulties. Today, a continuous supply of power is essential for everyone’s existence. Therefore, scammers have discovered that this is the ideal weakness to take advantage of by threatening a power outage on the false premise that a bill is underpaid.
The threat notice includes a virtual link or phone number for an “electricity officer” that can be used to put things right. People intuitively contact the number and are persuaded to provide further information, which is why this fraud is so prevalent. Also, scammers used Aadhaar card data to produce over 10,000 polymer fingerprints to withdraw Rs14.64 lakh from bank accounts connected to Aadhaar.
Messages posing as electricity bills
Many consumers irrespective of paid or nonpaid are getting notifications via SMS or WhatsApp. It notifies them to pay their electricity bills by 9.30 p.m. if they don’t they will find their electric disconnect. In the connected world of today, a consumer will undoubtedly become anxious if their electric power source is cut off.
Although these messages first appeared a few months ago in northeastern regions, they are now circulated all around the nation. They are sent from cell numbers rather than the real SMS header that the electricity company uses. It is interesting because none of them specifies the name of the electric power provider. But at the same time, the customer’s power supply is yet threatened by SMS.
Any special zone is affected by these online electric bill scams?
The theft of electric power bills has been going on for a while. In this scenario, scammers have been successful in draining numerous individuals’ bank accounts. Smartphone users should be cautious of these frauds. It is however according to a piece of recent news, cybercrime authorities have detained those fake authorities who are responsible belongs to the Jharkhand district.
The electrical bill scam, according to cybercrime officials, started in Jamtara, Jharkhand. These fake artists hacked into people’s phones by sending them text messages demanding immediate payment for an outstanding electricity bill, for example, a CESC bill payment.
According to reports, the gang who are involved in this electric bill scam initially contacted SIM card suppliers to acquire a large quantity of SIM cards so they could send victims scanned texts. They then opened a bank account to receive the fraudulent funds. Scammers then requested that customers send in their unpaid electricity bills via text to them.
The following fraud message is sent to most people: “The failure to update your previous month’s bill will result in the loss of your electricity tonight, dear Customer. To pay the bill, kindly click on the following link.”
Backend activity behind the Online electric bill scam
The victim is taken to a website or a telecaller and thereafter prompted to pay their unpaid electricity bill while they click the link in the SMS. People frequently provided their bank account information while being unaware of the scam, and money was immediately taken out of the account. These telemarketers frequently pretended to be BSES representatives when requesting bank account information.
Areas of these fraudulent activities
Over a thousand complaints about the fake electricity bill scam have reportedly been made across the nation, according to Delhi Police.
The Delhi Police’s Cyber Crime Unit has recently detained 65 people for allegedly scamming customers with this electrical bill scam. According to sources, Jamtara in Jharkhand with West Bengal, parts of Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh was the base of operations for the majority of these scams. The Jamtara gang, in particular, is well renowned for online electric bill scams in a variety of ways.
In Kolkata, a similar fraud involving the provision of broadband services and LPG refills is currently taking place. In a case recently detailed by ABP Live, the scammer collected all client information—including bank account information—under the guise of offering a larger subsidy on LPG refills.
It is crucial to keep in mind that no service provider will terminate any service without giving appropriate notice of any outstanding payments. Therefore, delete from the next time you receive a message of this nature. If the message was sent to you via WhatsApp, you have the option to block and report, or report the sender’s phone number to the vigilance cell.
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