Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): By pretending to be an officer of Madhya Pradesh Electricity Board (MPEB), a cyber criminal made an attempt to transfer Rs 13 lakh from the bank account of a retired forest officer to his bank account. As soon as the message of withdrawing money from the account surfaced, the retired officer called the bank. A sum of Rs 10 lakh was saved but Rs 3 lakh were withdrawn.
Cyber crime police have registered a case against unidentified.
According to police, Keshav Singh, a resident of DK Devasthali Bawadia Kala, is a retired forest officer. On July 30, he got a call from an unknown number. The caller told him that he was an MPEB official. He told Singh that he had not been paid the bill and if he did not pay the bill, the connection would be disconnected by 9 pm. Keshav Singh told him that the bill was paid and sent a receipt for depositing electricity bill of Rs 10,426 through WhatsApp.
The fraudster said that a senior MPEB official would talk to him. Another person who posed as a senior official told him that though he deposited the bill money, their software had not entered the details. He then tricked Keshav Singh into downloading AnyDesk Remote App to update the system. Initially, Keshav Singh refused to download the app but he finally gave up under pressure and downloaded the app on his mobile phone. As soon as the app was downloaded, the PIN code came in the mobile phone.
After this the fraudster told Singh to transfer Re 1 to his account. As soon as Singh transferred Re 1, within two minutes, Rs 13 lakh were transferred from his bank account. Realising the fraud, he immediately informed the bank. Bank officials rejected the transaction of Rs 10 lakh. However, the second transaction of Rs 3 lakh could not be stopped.
Assistant commissioner of Police (cyber crime) Akshay Choudhary said a case had been registered against unidentified persons on the basis of a complaint of a retired forest officer. No one has been arrested.
‘Be cautious against fake messages of electricity bill payment’
Energy Minister Pradhuman Singh Tomar has cautioned electricity consumers against fake messages pertaining to disconnection of electricity connection. He has asked electricity consumers not to fall in trap of cyber criminals.
He said that neither power company would ask people to contact any given number for payment of electricity bill nor would suggestions be given to download apps other than Smart Bijli app.
Company sends SMS to only those consumers who have not paid electricity bills. Discoms too have appealed to consumers to remain safe from cyber criminals.
Of late, electricity consumers have been receiving fake messages that electricity bill payment of last month has not been made and hence their electricity connection will be disconnected by night. The consumers were also asked to contact a specific mobile number.
In some cases, when consumers contacted a given number, they were pressured to download apps on their mobile handset. This way, the device comes in control of mischievous persons.
It is learnt that there have been cases wherein electricity consumers have been duped by mischievous persons in the name of urgent payment of electricity bills. Many electricity consumers were cheated in the name of urgent bill payment and lodged police complaints.
In some cases, consumers lost huge amounts as cyber criminals took out money from their bank accounts.