FPJ Cyber Secure: BARC Scientist Falls Victim To ₹3 Lakh Electric Bill Fraud

FPJ Cyber Secure: BARC Scientist Falls Victim To ₹3 Lakh Electric Bill Fraud

Upon clicking the link on her WhatsApp, she was induced to grant permission for the app to access her device.

Aishwarya IyerUpdated: Monday, February 19, 2024, 01:37 AM IST
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A scientific officer at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) and his family fell victim to an electric bill scam, resulting in a loss of Rs3lakh. The BARC officer, employed in the Accelerator and Pulse Power Division, resides in Trombay with his 41-year-old wife, while his 71-year-old father lives in Andheri.

Details of fraud

On February 12, the woman received a call from her father-in-law, alerting her about the imminent disconnection of their Alibaug home’s electricity due to an unpaid bill. She was directed to contact a provided number to discuss the payment procedure. The caller identified himself as Kamble, an alleged official from Mahavitaran, instructing her to click on a link for payment.

Scammer poses as Mahavitaran official

Upon clicking the link on her WhatsApp, she was induced to grant permission for the app to access her device. The scammer, posing as a Mahavitaran official, assured her that failure to grant access would result in payment failure. Trusting the instructions, she allowed access. Subsequently, a portal resembling the Maharashtra State Electricity Board (MSEB) appeared, demanding details like consumer number and name for bill payment. The fraudster guided her through the process, attempting a payment of Rs3 lakh, which failed on her device.

Realising something amiss, the scientist, who is not allowed to have a mobile phone at work, checked the official website. Attempting a payment of Rs100, he discovered unauthorised deductions through messages from his bank. The family, suspecting foul play, promptly approached the Trombay police, filing a complaint against the unknown scammer.

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