By: Pune Pulse
November 4, 2023
Pune: Recently, there has been rise in the number of fake messages being sent to citizens through SMS, and WhatsApp from personal mobile numbers asking them to either pay their electricity bills immediately or face disconnection.
As a result, Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) has appealed to people not to open any online links or download any software to pay their electricity bills. It has also said that citizens should not trust fake messages or calls from personal numbers under any circumstances.
As per further information from MSEDCL, Mahadiscom mobile app and website www.mahadiscom.in are available for customers to pay electricity bills securely.
It is worthy to note that for the past few days, there has been an increase in the number of citizens receiving fake messages and direct calls through ‘SMS’ and ‘WhatsApp’ from personal mobile numbers asking them to pay their electricity bills irrespective of whether they have paid their bills or are yet to pay their bills.
For power bill defaulters, the message read that the electricity supply will be disconnected at 9.30 pm due to non-payment of last month’s electricity bill. Fake ‘SMS’ or ‘WhatsApp’ messages are being sent saying ‘Please contact the personal mobile number provided immediately’. Mobile calls are also being made. As per information, such kind of fake messages are being sent to citizens who have nothing to do with electricity bills or to electricity consumers whose electricity bills have already been paid. After unwary citizens respond to these fake messages or calls asking them to pay electricity bills only ‘online’, sending links to online payments from personal mobile numbers, or downloading software (which hacks mobiles or computers). If citizens respond to these fake messages, the money in their respective bank accounts is being looted by hackers.
MSEDCL has clarified that no such ‘SMS’ and ‘WhatsApp’ messages are sent by them from any personal mobile number. So, only those customers who have registered their mobile number along with the customer number are sent ‘SMS’ through the computerized system.
The sender ID of this message is VM-MSEDCL, VK-MSEDCL, AM-MSEDCL, JM-MSEDCL. Also, through this official message, electricity consumers are not informed about contacting any individual mobile number. It is not asked to share bank OTP or download any kind of software. Also, it has been clarified by Mahavitaran that ‘WhatsApp’ messages are not sent from personal numbers. Only ‘SMS’ are sent by Mahavitaran through an authorized sender ID.
These include pre-planned maintenance and repairs, probable time required to restore electricity supply in case of interruption of power supply due to technical or other reasons, amount of electricity bills per month, appeal to customers to submit meter readings themselves, date of meter reading and total number of units used, amount of electricity bill, due date, notice etc of power supply interruption is duly sent.
However, at present the ‘SMS’, ‘WhatsApp’ messages and mobile calls sent to citizens from personal mobile numbers are fake.
No response should be given to it. It has requested not to open any links or download any software for bill payment. Also, do not contact the personal mobile number mentioned in the fake message.
In case of any doubts or complaints, electricity consumers should contact the 24-hour toll-free number 1912, 18002123435 or 18002333435 or the nearest office.