Saturday, June 25, 2022

Scam Alert: Electricity Power Will Be Disconnected

I want to highlight a scam that is going around. This scam starts with an SMS informing you that, "Your electricity will be disconnected at 9:30 PM because your previous month bill is not updated". The SMS also mentions a number which is supposed to be the customer care's number that you must call to avoid the power disruption. 

Here's the screenshot of the actual SMS I received along with the senders number and the Customer Care number

Scammer SMS

This posts documents my conversation with the scammer, in the hope that more of us will become aware of this scam and not fall for it.

The Investigation

When I received the SMS, I was a bit surprised, I had paid the electricity bill on 4th June 2022 itself. Still, I decided to check online, if the bill had been paid, turns out it was paid.

Then I started doubting that may be its a scam. Decided to call the helpline to figure out what happens next.

When I called the helpline, there was no answer. After 5 min or so, the call was returned. This further grew my suspicion, who from the government gives a call back?

The person on the other side was talking in Hindi with a thick UP/Bihari ascent (nothing against anyone, just describing what I noticed). I could also hear other people in the background speaking "Hello I am calling from Electricity Board..."

Here's another red flag, typically people from Maharashtra government would start speaking in Marathi not Hindi.

I asked him which state is he calling from, thinking that may be, they have sent the message to an incorrect number. But he said he is calling from Maharashtra. Next, I asked where are you calling from, he said he is calling from the electricity board helpline.

I told him, I have paid the bill on 4th itself. He said, the problem is not with bill payment. He asked me to read the SMS carefully to understand what is the problem. He asked me to read the message aloud, I obliged. I said what does "previous month bill is not updated" mean? He said, in his system bill is not updated, if I don't update it now, electricity will be disconnected today at 930 PM.

I asked what needs to be done, he responded, go to Google Play Store and download an app...

The Confrontation 

By this time, I have had enough, I decided to confront him and call his bluff. I asked him "Boss, you are running a scam, why are you doing it?".

This person was borderline rude, but my question annoyed him and he said, You will realise when your electricity is disconnected today at 9:30 PM. To which I told him "Do whatever you want, I am going to report you to the police".

This made him go from being rude to abusive. He started using all sorts of curse words and then disconnected the call.

I went to the Cyber Crime Portal and registered a complain. Here's the screenshot of the confirmation


Help me spread the awareness to as many people as possible so that, these scammers go out of business. Please be watchful!

Have some Fun!