Fake customer care agents use popular brands to get ranked high on Google search results

The sleuths of Cyberabad police have received numerous complaints of fake customer care centres that uses Google ads to display their sites.

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  29 May 2021 1:29 PM GMT
Fake customer care agents use popular brands to get ranked high on Google search results

Hyderabad: The Cyberabad police received a complaint from a resident of Kukatpally who said that he had lost Rs 1,61,000 from his HDFC bank account after he followed instructions from a person claiming to be from the HDFC customer care.

According to the complaint, the person had made a payment of Rs 32,052 towards his HDFC credit card bill through net banking. When it did not reflect on his account, he called one of the numbers that he found on Google claiming to be an HDFC customer care centre.

Upon asking, he gave the caller his account details and also downloaded the Team Viewer/Quick Support app on his mobile. He also transferred an amount of Rs 1 to a Google Pay account from his account. After this, he received a message that said that Rs 1,61,000 has been debited from his HDFC account in 12 transactions. There was no response from the number after that.

This is not the first time such a case has occurred. The sleuths of Cyberabad police have received numerous complaints of fake customer care centres that uses Google ads to display their sites.

The police said that fraudsters from Punjab, Haryana, UP, Bihar and Jharkhand post numbers claiming to help people with various products and services. They list these on top of the Google search engine for maximum visibility and cheat people who happened to come across their numbers.

In another complaint, a person from Balanagar said that he made payment of Rs 2,800 to his friend through the PhonePe wallet. When the amount was not credited to his friend's account, he called a PhonePe customer care number he found on Google. They asked him for his bank account details and instructed him to download a desk app onto his mobile and enter his bank account details. After doing so Rs 72,905 was deducted from his Axis bank account in five transactions.

The Cyberabad police said that fraudsters are posting ads with their mobile numbers claiming to be from the customer care of well-known brands, products, and services to appear on top of the Google pages. The police said that the fraudsters in these fake customer care centres ask for card details, OTP numbers, UPI PIN numbers and use this to transfer money from the victims' accounts to theirs.

The fraudsters convince the victims to download and install various remote-control applications like TeamViewer, Quick Support, SMS to Phone, AnyDesk, and so on. They further ask the victim to recharge a mobile number for Rs 10 thereby obtaining the UPI PIN from them without their knowledge. Later, they take control of the victim's device and grab personal information to wrongfully transfer money to their accounts.

The police advised the citizens to not fall into the trap of fake customer care centres found in Google searches as not everything found on the Google search engine is genuine. They asked people not to share any bank account, card, or wallet details with anyone. They asked people not to download any remote access applications (like Team Viewer, Any Desk, Quick Support, SMS to Phone, and other apps) when the customer care person instructs them to do so.


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