Shocking Google Maps scam exposed! Lady lost Rs. 5.35 lakh via app; 5 ways to stay safe
Google Maps provides you with directions for the places you want to go. But now the Google Maps app is being used by fraudsters to scam people. According to a report by the Free Press Journal, a resident of Dahisar has lost over Rs. 5,00,000 to a Google Maps scam. As per the information provided, the scamsters had replaced the authorised number of a local wine shop with theirs, and tricked the lady into revealing her banking credentials when she called on the number. Fraudsters had managed to edit contact details of the shop on Google Maps, hence, making people using the app more prone to frauds.
Also according to the report, the facility of changing contact details on Google Maps is part of Google's User Generated Content policy, which aims to enable its users to ensure accuracy of the content displayed on Maps. Fraudsters mostly change the contact numbers of banks, restaurants, wine shops, among others. Those people trying to reach these establishments end up calling the fraudsters and hence, ultimately losing lakhs of rupees to them.
In the latest fraud case, the victim contacted a local wine shop at around 9 pm simply to know if the shop was open. As the number was changed by the fraudster, the person who answered the call said that the shop was closed but the bottle will be delivered to the lady's residence in 10 minutes. The fraudster then sent her a QR code asking her to pay Rs. 550 as the charge, according to the MHB Colony police.
An officer with the MHB Colony police station said, as quoted by the Free Press Journal, "Soon, another person called her and said that she would have to undergo a registration process for the delivery to be made. While initially reluctant, the victim wasn't given a choice and as she had already paid, she decided to give in. The accused sent her an e-wallet link and told her to enter ‘19051' as the invoice number in the ‘amount' space. The victim, although suspicious, did so, and immediately, ₹19,051 were debited from her account.”
Claiming that there was a system glitch, the fraudster made the lady pay the same amount twice. After which the fraudster said that they would try a different way and asked the lady for her debit card number and CVV and the lady ended up losing a total of Rs. 5.35 lakh to the fraudster.
How to stay safe from frauds
You should never share your debit/credit card details, especially the CVV and Pin with anyone.
Do not call a number provided on any app or website without checking the authenticity of it.
You are advised to inform your bank immediately if any such incident happens.
If there is any glitch at all during the transaction, stop right there and do not share or provide any information to the person on call.
QR codes can be dangerous. You must verify before proceeding. If it cannot be verified, stop the transaction immediately.