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Mumbai: Magistrate loses nearly Rs 50,000 in power bill scam

Updated on: 13 July,2022 08:02 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Sachin Gaad |

He got text message saying his bill was overdue and his power supply would be discontinued; he called the number given to say his bill was paid and was lured into the trap

Mumbai: Magistrate loses nearly Rs 50,000 in power bill scam

The magistrate was told by the person who received the call that his payment status was not updated in their system and he would have to update it. File pic

This Friday, a magistrate, a resident of Worli, fell for a text message saying his electricity bill was overdue, and ended up losing nearly Rs 50,000. mid-day has been reporting on the electricity bill scam wherein people are duped into paying or lose money when threatened with disconnection of their power supply. Consumers are usually targetted with a text message.

On Friday the magistrate received a text message from an unknown number claiming to be from his electricity supply company. “Your electricity bill is overdue and your electricity will be disconnected by 9.30 tonight," stated the message. A contact number was also provided in the message for help and assistance.

The police said he called the number and told the person he was speaking to that he had paid his electricity bill. He was told his payment status was not updated in their system and he would have to update it. After about half an hour later, the fraudster contacted him and asked him to download a Help Desk application and to pay a fee of R1 through it to help update his status. He also sent a payment link on WhatsApp.

The victim tried to pay Rs 1, but the transaction failed. The police said the fraudster then continued to ask him to open different applications and even to take screenshots to record the process. While keeping him busy in idle talk, he asked the magistrate for his ATM card number and CVV number, all the while recording these figures. As soon as the magistrate shared the numbers, Rs 49,501 was debited from his bank account. Realising something amiss, he immediately disconnected the call, as per the First Information Report (FIR).

Investigators suspect that since the scamster had access to the magistrate’s mobile phone, he made the transaction using his ATM card credentials and entered the One Time Password (OTP) received on his phone. “We have registered an offence of impersonation and cheating along with relevant sections of Information Technology (IT) Act and a probe is underway,” said Anil Koli, senior inspector of Worli police station.

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