The electricity bill scam wherein the consumers are fooled by sending fake SMSes is continuing in Tamil Nadu with many people including senior citizens falling into the fraudsters’ trap.
At least 56 complaints have been filed with the Chennai police, with the maximum number of cases from Adayar area.
A senior police officer told IANS that there are many cases in other cities of the state as well.
He said that the SMSes are usually sent to the mobile phones of people in the evening hours warning that the power supply would be disconnected ati around 10 p.m.
This would leave no time for the victims to think over or cross-check such messages as disconnecting power would mean that senior citizens and school and college-going children would suffer.
Out of panic, those who receive such SMS go on to contact the number given in the SMS, and under the guise of helping the victim, the fraudsters ask the gullible victims to download some Apps like TeamViewer, Quickspace Support, and RQbe on their phones. The fraudster only charges Rs 20 as service charge for this.
Once the apps are downloaded, the fraudsters take control of the phone and steal money from the bank account.
A senior citizen at Anna Nagar lost Rs 11.5 lakh but the cyber cell personnel retrieved the money as the customer who lost the money had immediately approached the police.
Police said the phone calls were made from some north Indian states but SIM cards had been taken in someone else’s name. Most of the bank accounts were taken with false credentials.
Chennai Police said that a person from Valsaravakkam, Mohan was about to lose Rs 30 lakh from his account as he was about to download the app. However, he refrained from downloading the app as he had come across certain reports of SMS fraud. He stopped using the internet for two days and later complained to the police about the same.
While consumers vouch that their addresses and telephone numbers were lost from Tangedco but the officials with the power utility of Tamil Nadu said that the SMSs were sent at random and that the Tangedco account details have not been compromised.