Hyderabad: Cyber fraudsters are hosting fake websites in Google in the name of offering customer care services. The fraudsters have sites for almost all the existing companies. The most recent is the case of a Zomato order, reported in Cyber Crime Police Station, Cyberabad.

The customer ordered for sweets worth Rs 200 through Zomato application. However, the sweet that was delivered to him was found with foul smell. He Googled for the customer care service of Zomato and found a mobile number (9330017233) as the customer care service for Zomato.

Immediately the customer called on that number and asked for return of the said product and to resolve the issue. Upon which this the fraudster asked the customer/ complainant to send the details of his bank account and UPI PIN number etc. Accordingly, the customer shared all the details in anticipation of return of sweets and amount of Rs.200/- to him. Within seconds of sharing his bank account credentials, an amount of Rs.70,000 was debited from the complainant’s account.

According to Cyberabad police, similarly several cases of fake Google customer care services are reported every day at its cyber crime police stations.

As Google is not monitoring the genuineness of the websites posted, the fraudsters are providing their mobile numbers as the customers service numbers of companies. Through this, they are cheating the innocent customers to the tune of lakhs of rupees.

Whenever any person is in need of a customer care service, they Google for the customer care service of that particular company. On this several portals displays in the search. Once the customer calls on the fake mobile number instead of the original customer care service number of the company, the fraudster immediately responds to the concerned person and pretends that they are genuine customer care service provider for that company.

Spokesperson, Cyber crime Police station , Cyberabad said, “When the person believes the fraudster as genuine company staff, he furnishes whatever the bank account details requested by the fraudster including OTP, UPI PIN, Net Banking Password etc., On this the fraudsters are transferring the amount from innocent consumer’s account to their wallets.”

Cyberabad police meanwhile has released an advisory for the public to safeguard themselves from fake Google customer care services.

Advisory to the Citizens:

1.Never search for any customer care service numbers of any company for redressal in Google.

2.Never share your card details,UPI, OTP, PIN Number and Net Banking password with any of the customer care service staff.

3.No genuine customer care service of any company asks for the bank account/card details/OTP details.

4. Give your complaint to the customer care service of a company either by mail or through their toll free number available on their website or application.

Dheeshma Puzhakkal

Dheeshma Puzhakkal is currently a Reporter with Newsmeter. An alumnus of Hyderabad Central University, she has interned with Greater Kashmir newspaper and NDTV. Dheeshma has also made short films and documentaries. Her documentary ‘Still I Rise’, which is based on sex-trafficking in Hyderabad’s Old City, has earned accolades in several film festivals, such as International Documentary and Short Film Festival, Kerala (IDSFFK). An avid foodie, she loves to travel and listen to stories that others tell. Photography is one of her all-time interests. She has extensively written on satellite-based journalism, health, consumer, and data stories besides covering anti-crime investigative agencies.

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