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Beware: One wrong Google search can wipe out your entire bank account

​Recently, a woman in Bengaluru lost her entire bank balance when she dialled a fake Zomato call center to seek a refund for her order.

ET Online|
Aug 14, 2019, 12.01 PM IST
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There have been several cases in the past few months, where fake customer care executives elicit information like bank account, debit/credit card and even the OTP from the customer on the pretext of helping them.
We all have a habit of searching businesses and customer care numbers on Google whenever we need any help or customer support. But this habit can prove costly as you could land into a trap of fake numbers laid by any conman or hacker, who is just waiting for this kind of search to lure a victim.

Recently, a woman in Bengaluru lost her entire bank balance when she dialled a fake Zomato call center to seek a refund for her order. As she were struggling to find a customer care number on the Zomato app, she googled it and dailled a number from the search results. After registering her refund request on this fake customer care, her entire bank account was cleaned out in the next few minutes.

In a similar case, a customer from Chennai was also conned by a fake customer care numbers he found through internet search. The fake customer care person asked the customer to share his unified payments interface (UPI) pin, password and bank details to initiate a refund. Suspecting a fraud, he gave a wrong pin. Soon after the call, he received two SMSs from bank stating that two transaction for amounts of Rs 5,000 and Rs 10 had failed due to incorrect pin.

Zomato has registered a police complaint regarding these fake call centres.

There have been several cases like such in the past few months using this method, where fake customer care executives elicit information like bank account, debit/credit card and even the OTP from the customer on the pretext of helping them.

A similar incident happened with EPFO Provident Fund as well. A scamster changed the contact details of an EPFO office in Mumbai on Google. When people contacted on that number, the scamster asked for personal details
from the callers and duped several of them.

Few months ago, dairy brand Amul issued a legal notice to Google, alleging that a series of fake B2B campaigns regarding Amul Parlours and Distributors have started through fake websites using Google search ads since September 2018.

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