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Scamsters target Kerala power customers; KSEB database compromised?

Electricity consumers in Kerala are being targeted by scamsters who send SMS threatening that the power connection will be snapped if payment is not made. Even as cops investigate, KSEB is yet to confirm if their customer database has been compromised

Scamsters target Kerala power customers; KSEB database compromised?
Thiruvananthapuram, First Published Aug 7, 2022, 11:53 AM IST

Electricity consumers in Kerala are being targeted by scamsters. The state has been witnessing a surge in cases of online fraud. It is suspected that Kerala State Electricity Board's (KSEB) database may have been leaked and used by scamsters.

In most cases, scamsters sent SMS messages to KSEB customers, saying that the bill had not been paid and that it should be paid online immediately. Several people, including veteran journalist Sanil P Thomas, lost their money in the process.

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Here's how the scam operates. First, the fraudsters send an SMS stating that the electricity bill has not been paid and that the connection will be cut immediately. The concerned customer ends up calling the number given in the SMS for help, and eventually, a payment is made online. The payment is made through Quick Pay or through a mobile application recommended by the fraudsters. The mobile application collects the account number and password, and the account is cleared of funds within moments. Fraudulent groups leak the customer's information through a remote accessing system.

A 58-year-old native of Thrissur lost Rs 24,000 to this modus operandi. The police believe that north Indian gangs are behind the fraud. Kottayam cyber cell alone has received 10 complaints of KSEB fraud. The question that is perplexing the authorities is how the scamsters got hold of the information about KSEB customers. 

KSEB did not comment on whether its customer database has been compromised. It is reported that the KSEB has asked the police to investigate the matter. Common people have lost crores due to scams in loan-giving apps. Meanwhile, investigations continue.

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