Beware of fake customer care numbers posted on search engines: SP Malika Garg

Cybercriminals are resorting to manipulating search engine results and replacing customer care numbers of reputed firms with fake ones, says Ms. Garg

May 28, 2023 08:07 pm | Updated 08:07 pm IST - ONGOLE

Prakasam Superintendent of Police Malika Garg.

Prakasam Superintendent of Police Malika Garg. | Photo Credit: BY ARRANGEMENT

Internet users should be wary of the misinformation given online through search engines. Cybercriminals resort to replacing customer care numbers of leading firms and banks with fake numbers displayed at the top in the search results, warns Prakasam Superintendent of Police Malika Garg.

Most consumers look up service providers’ customer care numbers on search engines like Google or Bing instead of looking them up on authorised websites. Conmen take advantage of this general tendency and siphon money from unsuspecting customers by introducing themselves as customer care executive over the phone, the SP cautioned after reviewing new cybercrimes in the district on Sunday.

The best way to prevent this fraud is by calling up the customer care number provided only on the authorised websites of the service providers and merchants, she said.

It has come to the notice of the police that cybercriminals are meddling with the customer care numbers of reputed companies and financial institutions on platforms such as Twitter, Google and Facebook to misdirect consumers into calling the fake numbers.

It has been found by the police that the fraudsters also changed the original contact numbers of popular retail stores and banks on Google Maps, Twitter, Facebook etc., which were later corrected.

Cybercriminals also post fake numbers on e-commerce shopping sites and pose as customer care executives, to extract sensitive banking information from customers.

Under no circumstances should details like card number, CVV, ATM PIN, banking passwords and one-time-passwords (OTP) be shared with anyone over the phone or e-mail, the police warned.

No bank or reputed company will ask its customers for confidential details over the phone or email, Ms. Garg said.

Aggrieved persons could lodge their complaints by dialling 1930 or by visiting

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