“Your electricity will be disconnected tonight…”: Know the latest scam to save yourself

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If you pay your electricity bill online, then you must read about this latest scam that fraudsters are using to trick people. Electricity boards or suppliers often inform customers about the total amount of the electricity bill for a certain month and the due date via SMS or WhatsApp messages. Using a similar format, scamsters are now sending fake messages about unpaid electricity dues to users to dupe them.
Know all about the latest electricity bill scam
Many users have been receiving messages on WhatsApp or via SMS from random numbers that says that their electricity connection will be suspended soon unless they immediately call a certain number. The message reads: “Dear Customer Your Electricity power will be disconnected Tonight at 8.30 pm from electricity office. because your previous month bill was not update, please immediately contact with our electricity 8240471159 Thank you.”

Several users have tweeted about getting such messages on Twitter. Giving an account of how people have fallen for this trap, Digamber Karekar, a Twitter user recently shared a social media post. He mentioned, “One of our family friends was fleeced of Rs 25000 by cyber fraud. Daughter got an SMS stating that their electric meter will be disconnected today for non-payment of dues. Hence call on the given number. Daughter forwarded the call to her father. Father called that number, and he was asked to download an APP to make a payment. On downloading he was asked to make a test payment of Rs 5. On doing the same he found Rs. 25,000 debited to his account. BEWARE.”

Steps to follow to avoid the latest electricity bill scam

The State Bank of India (SBI) recently warned customers against falling prey to fraudulent messages about unpaid electricity bills. “Understand “YehWrongNumberHai”! Never call back or respond to such SMSs as these are a scam to steal your personal/financial information. Stay Alert and #SafeWithSBI,” the lender wrote in a post on Twitter.

The bank has also pointed out a few ways to find out whether the SMS you are getting regarding your electricity bill is real or fake. Follow these steps:

1) You need to check whether the message has come from a personal phone number or an official number. The electricity board or supplier generally sends SMS from an official number.

2) Check if any message or person (calling from a random number) is asking you to take immediate action about your electricity bill payment. Fraudsters often create urgency or panic, so that individuals do not have much time to think.

3) Read the message carefully and you will find several spelling and grammatical errors.

The bank has asked the users to make safe choices and verify the source before taking any action.

Moreover, if you have missed the payment of your electricity bill for any month, contact the electricity board or supplier. You can find the official contact details of any electricity board in your previous electricity bills.

Text message scams, also known as smishing, are one of the most popular tricks scamsters use to steal personal information and money. Fraudsters also trick individuals in the guise of updating their Know your Customer (KYC) details online.

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