Fraudsters duping electricity consumers with warning call of disconnection

Saturday, Sep 24, 2022 08:00 [IST]

Last Update: Saturday, Sep 24, 2022 02:21 [IST]

Fraudsters duping electricity consumers with warning call of disconnection

GANGTOK, : Electricity consumers in the State are getting duped over pre-paid electricity payment, with fraudsters calling consumers  that their pre-paid connection are likely to end and urging them to invest on recharging.  Sikkim Power department, upon noticing cases of such fraud activities, invited the local media for clarification on Friday.

In a press conference, Power department’s principal chief engineer and secretary Ganesh Chettri stated, “The department does not have any facility of SMS, call or mail at the moment to inform its consumers regarding disconnection of their power connection. Such messages on consumer’s mobile numbers were an online fraud scam. Consumers must ignore such messages to not become victims of such online fraud. Complaints have been reported that electricity consumers have been receiving messages on the mobile numbers informing that their power will be disconnected as their previous month’s bill was not updated. The fraudsters asked consumers to contact a number.”

The secretary clarified that the department does not have any SMS or call service at the moment. He further urged consumers to stay alert and conscious towards such messages and calls to become prey of such online scam. He suggested the consumers to report to the police and the department in case of any such case.

The Power department mentioned that some technical and other glitches have been coming up due to the current on-going transition from the conventional to the modernization of various services and systems. The introduction of the online payment of electricity bills and installation of prepaid meters has created panic among some people of which some fraudsters have been trying to take advantage for such online frauds, the department added.

Chief engineer Jigmey Namgyal said, “The service of online payment of the bill was currently down as the contract of the old IT service providers ended. A new service provider has taken over so it took some time to pass data, especially from the security point of view. The department was hopeful that the entire process will be completed and online payment service will be back by the end of Durga Puja. But there was some delay in the circulation of electricity bills due to some technical glitches and issues.  The issue has been addressed and the system is working fine now".

Superintendent engineer M.R. Thakur informed about the on-going installation of prepaid meters in in eight towns in the State. A total of 9,650 prepaid meters have already been installed, which covers around 36.21% of consumers so far.

Sikkim at a Glance

  • Area: 7096 Sq Kms
  • Capital: Gangtok
  • Altitude: 5,840 ft
  • Population: 6.10 Lakhs
  • Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 to over 28,509 ft above sea level
  • Climate:
  • Summer: Min- 13°C - Max 21°C
  • Winter: Min- 0.48°C - Max 13°C
  • Rainfall: 325 cms per annum
  • Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi