Paying bills and running errands are part and parcel of life. But what if one day you receive a message from the electricity board of your respective state—stating that you have pending dues and that your connection will be disconnected soon unless you make an urgent payment? Well, this is exactly what has been happening in the country, with many users reportedly receiving such messages, asking them to pay their electricity bills. However, as you might have guessed, these messages are fake and are designed to extort money from unsuspecting victims.
These scammers carefully craft these messages to make them appear authentic and send them to users with phishing links that result in the scammer receiving money when payments are made through them.
These messages often mention a bill payment timeframe that could cause anyone to panic, and it’s this sense of urgency that leads people to fall victim to this carefully designed scam. Moreover, these messages often contain official-looking logos and fake designations, which can further deceive individuals.
To protect yourself from such scams, users must remain vigilant and follow a process of due diligence before making hasty decisions.
Follow these tips to stay safe:
- Always verify whether you have any pending dues with your electricity board. You can easily do this online using your unique K number.
- Avoid clicking on random links received via SMS or WhatsApp, as these links may lead to websites that can steal your data.
- Keep your devices updated with the latest available software. In case fraudsters attempt to exploit a vulnerability, having the latest software allows your device manufacturer to issue important updates that prevent such acts.
- Never disclose your personal information, banking passwords, OTPs, or official identification such as Aadhar cards to anyone. Scammers can use this information to steal data and even your identity for later use in scams.
- Practice good digital hygiene and refrain from installing apps from unknown sources, especially banking apps.
- If you come across such a scam or fall victim to one, it’s best to report it to the authorities and the concerned electricity department. This not only benefits others but also increases the chances of apprehending the scammers.