A new bank scam using Google Maps loophole

Con artists edit bank details, get customers to share PINs
Scamsters seem to have stumbled upon a gold mine in the form of a loophole in the Google Maps interface. Taking advantage of the fact that on Google Maps, an establishment’s contact details can be edited by anyone, a group of Thane-based con artists have been putting up their own contact numbers and getting customers who call them into revealing sensitive account details. According to the Maharashtra cyber police, the trend began over a month ago. Police officers said that if one searches for a particular branch of a bank on Google, the results include the Google Maps page. But the contact information on the page, such as the address and phone number, can be edited by anyone as part of Google’s User Generated Content policy. “We have received at least three complaints from the Bank of India (BoI) over the last one month. In all three instances, we immediately notified the authorities at Google,” Superintendent of Police Balsing Rajput of the State cyber police said. Mr. Rajput said many customers search online for their bank’s contact details, and after getting the incorrect number, call it with their queries. Unknown to them, they are actually speaking to a scamster who, under some pretext, convinces them to reveal details such as their Personal Identification Numbers (PIN) or the CVV numbers of their debit and credit cards, enabling the scamsters to withdraw money from their accounts.
Many complained
A BoI spokesperson said, “We have been notified by our customers and branch staff that on several occasions, a group of scamsters modified the contact details of the branches listed on the Google Maps page. Since these details are crowd-sourced, Bank of India has no control over who edits them. Over the last few months, we have received three such complaints from our customers. After these incidents came to our notice, we modified the contact details on these branch listings on Google Maps. We asked users to use only Bank of India’s official website to search for branch contact details.”
Google clarifies
When contacted, a Google spokesperson said, “Overall, allowing users to suggest edits provides comprehensive and up-to-date info, but we recognise there may be occasional inaccuracies or bad edits suggested by them. When this happens, we do our best to address the issue as quickly as possible. The Google Safety Center outlines tips to help consumers stay safe online.” The spokesperson added, “As soon as we were notified about this issue, the team worked quickly to address it. We have clear policies in place to ensure the quality of local listings on Google. We take violations of these policies extremely seriously and work fast to take appropriate action, including blocking or deleting the accounts of those responsible.”
Source :  https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/new-scam-using-google-maps-loophole/article25543120.ece

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