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Got e-challan? BEWARE! Scammers using it to get your account details; Know all about it

Motorists receive fake e-challan alerts in seemingly official text messages with specific vehicle registration numbers, leaving no room for doubts over legitimacy. Know everything about the new scam.

Got e-challan? BEWARE! Scammers using it to get your account details; Here's how it works gcw
First Published Apr 8, 2024, 10:00 AM IST

There is a new type of cyber fraud where thieves trick drivers by sending them fake e-challans that they may use to steal money. Fake e-challan notifications are sent to drivers in the form of text messages that appear legitimate and include individual car registration numbers, eliminating any possibility of fraud. 

According to a TOI report, a businessman from Pedder Road was targeted by cybercriminals via this scam earlier this year. The victim was tasked with clearing e-challans against his automobile after receiving a text message. The text included his car's license plate number and instructions on how to download the "vahanparivahann.apk" app in order to pay off all of his penalties.

Despite following the directions, the app was unable to process his funds. Thirty-one fraudulent purchases totaling Rs 3 lakh occurred on his credit card a week later. Bewildered, the man went to Gamdevi police who told him that the app he had installed was fake and that a scammer had sent the e-challan text. This is not the only instance of a fraudulent electronic challenge involving cybercrime.

How does this scam work?

Explaining how the scam works, a senior officer said the e-challan text message asks the receiver to download an app to view photographic evidence of his traffic violation and pay the fine. Whether sent over WhatsApp or as a link, the text message includes an APK file (Android Application Package). A malicious app is installed on the recipient's phone as soon as the file is run by the system. When a victim enters their bank information to "pay the fine," the fraudsters obtain access to the account information and utilize it for financial gain.

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