Maharashtra: Thane-Based Con Artists Scam People Using Google Maps Loophole
With people becoming more aware of the scammers and fraudsters out there, the tricks and cons seem to have gone up a notch. According to The Hindu, scammers in Maharashtra have found a new way to trick people by using Google maps. The Maharashtra cyber police have found out the latest trend among the scammers, who are using Google app in which anyone can edit an establishment’s contact details. By using this loophole, Thane-based conmen have extracted sensitive bank information from many customers.
Exploiting a loophole
In order to make the internet more user-friendly, Google’s User Generated Content policy allows the user to change the details of a place on Google maps. Due to this, anybody can edit the address or phone number of a particular site listed on Google maps. According to the Maharashtra Cyber Police, a few con artists took advantage of this loophole and changed the phone numbers of listed banks on the page. Subsequently, when users searched for the number of a particular bank to get some bank related work done over the phone, it automatically directed them to these scammers. Believing that it is the bank asking for their personal details, users ended up giving all the information to the frauds
The Maharashtra Cyber police have discovered this first of its kind fraud. While talking to the Hindu, superintendent of Police Balsing Rajput said that more than three complaints were reported from the Bank of India(BOI) over the last month itself.
Problem Acknowledged by Google
On realising the scam, the police immediately notified the authorities at the Google. One of the spokespeople from the company, when asked about this incident, said that allowing users to edit details help them keep the information up-to-date. However, they accepted the fact that there may have been some bad edits in the past. The spokesperson said that they will quickly address the issues and would rectify it soon, as reported by The Hindu.
Precautions have been taken
After more than three incidents of such scam at their bank, Bank Of India has modified the details on the branch listings on Google maps. The bank authorities have also requested the people to find the contact details on the bank’s official website and not from any other app.
Not only just in the case of banks, but people should also try to find other important contact information through officials website only. The Logical Indian urges users to avoid sharing any personal details like their PIN or CVV with unknown person claiming to be from the bank as the bank never asks for such information.