In their opinion, cybercrime police asked people not to share bank accounts or card details with customer service managers because this information is not needed to troubleshoot customer issues.
Hyderabad Cybercrime Police have issued a notice asking the public to beware of fake customer service numbers on Google. The notice comes after several cases of people being cheated and losing lakhs from their bank accounts have been reported. Cyberabad Commissionerate cybercrime police said they received numerous customer support fraud complaints involving various sites and advertisements on Google. Police found cyber fraudsters posting their ads and listing them at the top of the search on the Google platform to deceive the public. The general public looking for customer service numbers for various products and services end up calling those numbers which are listed as advertisements.
Police said the cyber fraudsters were mainly from Punjab, Haryana, UP, Bihar and Jharkhand. Some scammers masquerading as customer service managers convince their victims to part with debit or credit card numbers and UPI PINs. While a few scammers force their victims to install remote access apps on devices that allow them to see and steal sensitive bank details and UPI PINs.
In one case, a plaintiff from Kukatpally in Hyderabad called a fake HDFC credit card customer service number listed on Google and lost Rs 1.61,000 from his HDFC bank account. The complainant was facing problems in making a credit card payment of Rs 32,052 through Internet banking, but the amount was not transferred to the credit card account. The complainant therefore searched for the customer service number of the HDFC credit card and contacted the number listed on Google.
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The fraudster posing as a bank executive searched for the complainant’s bank details and asked him to install the TeamViewer app and QuickSupport on his mobile phone. After installation, the customer was asked to transfer an amount of Rs 1 to a Google Pay account. The unsuspecting customer followed the instructions given by the scammer and lost their money through 12 transactions. He then approached the police when there was no response from the fake customer service number.
In another case, a resident of Balanagar, Hyderabad, had made a payment of Rs 2,800 to his friend through the mobile wallet app, Phonepe. However, when the amount was not credited to the intended bank account, the customer searched for the Phonepe customer service number in Google and contacted the number. The scammer looked up the bank details of the PhonePe customer and asked him to download the AnyDesk app on his cell phone. Shortly after entering his Axis bank details, the customer lost Rs 72,905 through five transactions.
Applications such as AnyDesk, TeamViewer, SMS to Phone and QuickSupport allow remote access to a person’s mobile or computer devices. This allows fraudsters to secretly view and even access sensitive information such as bank details, PIN code and OTP.
Cybercrime police have advised the public not to fall into the trap of fake customer service numbers found on Google search. Not everything on Google search is genuine, police said.
They also told people not to share bank / card / wallet account details with customer service people because those details are not needed to troubleshoot customer issues. Additionally, they said not to download any remote access apps (like TeamViewer, Any Desk, Quick Support, SMS to Phone and other apps) even if a customer service manager orders it to do so, as it does can allow a fraudster to rate all banks. / card details and cheats. Police have also asked the public to call the original customer support numbers by obtaining them from genuine apps or websites for the affected product / service.