Fake electricity bill SMS scam surfaces in Mumbai; BEST issues advisory

Fake electricity bill SMS scam surfaces in Mumbai; BEST issues advisory

Learn how to avoid such scams.

Technology, instead of becoming a solution to modern problems, is becoming a disruptor for ordinary people. This time, by means of an electricity bill fraud in Mumbai. Since continuous electricity supply is a necessity in our lives today, fraudsters and scammers have adopted a new technique to dupe citizens and make money.

Complaints from several residents in Mumbai have surfaced, in response, Mumbai's BEST issued an advisory to its 10.5 lakh consumers, asking them to not get lured into any such scams by means of SMS or E-mails.

Fraudsters adopt new technique to scam people

Reportedly, several citizens are receiving messages through SMS or on WhatsApp about paying their dues for electricity supply, failing which, the power will be cut by 9:30 PM.

The message reads - "Notification. Dear customer your Electricity power will be disconnected tonight at 9:30 PM from BEST electricity officer because your previous month bill was not update. Please immediately contact with our electricity officer mob no. Thank You."

The message with the threat of disconnecting power also has the number of an officer from a power corporation or an app to be downloaded to request to make things right. This fraud becomes worse because people instinctively call the number and get lured into providing more details.

Crackdown on such scam artists

When called, the scammers will ask you to download an app from the Google Play Store, and once you download it, you are asked for a 12-digit code. This code gives your IP Address to the fraudster, with which they can gain complete access to your local network, and take out your bank account details, other sensitive data on your mobile phone or laptop.

While informing about such fraud SMSs, the BEST has also asked people to file complaints about any such claims on the helpline number available on the BEST official website. For further vigilance, BEST in its press note mentions that, all the electricity-related update via SMS is branded with BESTSM tag and not by any mobile number.

Along with BEST, Tata Power, Adani Electricity and MSEDCL have also issued advisory, alerting consumers to not get lured into such scams. So far, nine such fraud numbers have been identified by Mumbai Cyber cell, and the search for a main culprit continues.

How to identify fraud messages?

  • These messages does not contain a SMS header of BESTSM, VM-MSEDCL, or VK-MSEDCL, JX-ADANIE instead, a revertible mobile number is mentioned in the header.

  • BEST electricity bill payment notification consists of the official link of the bill payment portal.

  • The consumer is identified with the unique code which is also called the holder account number.

  • If the bill payment is due, the official notification also notifies the consumer about the due date.

  • In an authentic SMS notification, no information regarding disconnection will be mentioned.

Check for these above-mentioned pointers when receive any electricity bill payment-related message.

Ways to make payment?

BEST offers multiple ways to pay your electricity bill. Listed below are the safest ways that you can choose to pay your bill.

  • E-Suvidha counter

  • Nearest Common Service Centre

  • BEST bill payment portal

You can also pay your electricity bill via PhonePe or Gpay.

Fake electricity bill SMS scam surfaces in Mumbai; BEST issues advisory
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