What is the Electricity SMS Fraud?
Customers are sent an SMS that strongly urges them to click on the shared link to pay their electricity bill or else their power supply will be disconnected. Clicking on such links may allow the fraudsters to install malware on your phone. The SMS may also ask customers to call on the given number to pay the unpaid bill or update their account details.
How it happens
- Step 1
Fraudsters use official-sounding language in the SMS to convince unsuspecting customers that the message is from the right authority, often creating a sense of urgency for action. The message may read something like this: ‘Your Electricity Power will be disconnected tonight at 9.30pm because your previous month’s bill was not updated. Contact our electricity officer on 9XXXXXXXXX or click on this link xxxxxx’
- Step 2
The fear of being left without electricity makes the customer panic and take instant action.
When the customer calls the given number, he/she is convinced to share bank account details for the purpose of verifying past payments.
- Step 3
The scammer may also ask the customer to install remote access applications giving the fraudster control over the customer’s device.
- Step 4
Using the shared bank details, money is debited from the customer’s account instantly.
How to prevent Electricity SMS Fraud?
- Don’t click on links received from unknown sources
- Don’t share sensitive details on calls or messages with unknown people, even with Bank officials
- Always check your Bank and service provider’s official numbers on their website before sharing any details
- Do not install any third-party software apps which may give the fraudster access to your digital device
- Report such cheating attempts to the relevant authorities
Be aware at all times.
To report a fraud, call our toll-free number 1800 209 0000.