Hyderabad: Cyber fraudsters have found a new way to cheat people of their money. Now, they are posing as customer care executives by providing their phone numbers on various applications and sites. The Cyberabad cyber crime police station has received several complaints from people who were cheated by fake customer care services.

In one such case, S. Rajesh (name changed), a resident of Dundigal and owner of Rapipay Fintech Pvt. Ltd., was cheated to the tune of Rs. 70,000. On 3 October, he called a customer care service number, which he found on Google, after one of his customers tried to withdraw money and the transaction failed.

After a few hours he received a call from a customer care executive who asked him to install Any Desk Application. Next day, Rajesh noticed that Rs. 70,000 had been transferred from his South Indian Bank account to a Canara Bank account of Mohammad Imran. He realized that he had been cheated and he filed a police complaint on 19 October. A case was registered under various sections of the IPC and the IT Act 2008.

According to the police, fraudsters are uploading their contact numbers as customer care service numbers of various payment, shopping, and courier applications/websites. Customers search for the customer care service numbers on Google and contact them. The fraudsters pose as customer care executives and trick them into revealing their bank credentials or ask them to make a nominal payment through a link sent by them. In this way, they cheat people to the tune of lakhs of rupees. In some instances, they also ask people to download remote access applications or scan a QR code for immediate delivery of the products or to resolve an issue.

The cyber crime police issued an advisory on 22 October advising people not to search for customer care numbers on Google. Use a separate mobile number for bank accounts and raise any disputes or complaints from the genuine application or the site itself, the advisory said. Further, the police asked people not to reveal or share bank credentials through any means or install remote access applications.

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