scorecardresearch

Airtel CEO Gopal Vittal warns customers against cyber frauds, asks not to download third party apps

In a letter to Airtel's subscribers Vittal has noted the ways in which fraudsters are trying to lure customers into either paying for VIP numbers or downloading third-party apps to hack into the account details.

Airtel CEO Gopal Vittal has warned the telco's subscribers to be on the lookout for cyber frauds which are on the rise in the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic. In a letter to Airtel's subscribers Vittal has noted the ways in which fraudsters are trying to lure customers into either paying for VIP numbers or downloading third-party apps to hack into the account details. Vittal also warned customers about OTP-fraud which involves hackers getting the OTP from users to make payments.

He noted that there is a rise in frauds with increasing online transactions due to the pandemic. "With the growing second wave of the pandemic and lockdowns in various parts of the country, there has been a massive increase in online transactions. Unfortunately, there has also been a corresponding increase in Cyber fraud," Vittal said in a letter to Airtel's subscribers on Thursday.

The development comes days after the Airtel CEO had warned customers about fraudsters pretending to be AIrtel customers asking them to complete their KYC downloading an Airtel QuickSupport App from Google Play Store.

When customers try to install this app, they are redirected to TeamViewer QuickSupport app which allows the fraudster to remotely take over the device and accounts associated with the device. "And so, if the customer does install it, they allow the fraudster into all their accounts connected to the device," the CEO said.

"Please note that Airtel does not sell VIP numbers on the phone and will never ask you to download any third-party apps. In both instances, please immediately call 121 to confirm. In fact, I would say when in doubt simply call 121," Vittal said. He also urged customers to use the recently introduced 'Airtel Safe Pay.' Safe Pay is aimed at protecting users from potential frauds such as phishing, stolen credentials or passwords, and even phone cloning that catches customers unaware using the likes of two-factor authentication.

Safe Pay can be accessed by users with Airtel Payments Bank accounts. The Airtel Payments Bank account has a maximum balance limit of Rs 1 lakh and can be linked to any UPI app if users do not want to expose their primary bank account.