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Chennai: 73 fall prey to points scam in name of SBI in two months

Messages about rewards points lapsing create a sense of emergency among victims

Chennai: 73 fall prey to points scam in name of SBI in two months

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CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu Police have warned the general public to be cautious about the ‘SBI reward points scam’, in which 73 people have been scammed in the state in the last two months alone.

According to the cyber crime wing of the state police, fraudsters hack into victims’ mobile phones and send fraudulent messages to their contacts. “In recent incidents, hackers have used compromised Whatsapp accounts to send fake messages about ‘SBI Reward Points’ to various official and personal Whatsapp groups. The hackers may also change the existing group icons and names to ‘State Bank of India’,” according to an official release.

The fraudulent messages contain links for victims to update their bank details and redeem their ‘SBI Reward Points’, which leads to monetary loss. Further, the compromised social media accounts of the victims are used to spread fraudulent messages, leading to financial loss and disrupted communication within their networks.

The messages may say that the reward points are about to lapse, creating a sense of urgency. When a victim clicks on the link, they are prompted to download an APK file (Android Package).

This file is masked as an official mobile application or update related to ‘SBI Reward Points’. The victim unknowingly installs malware on their device by downloading and installing the APK file, which can be used to steal sensitive information, including banking credentials, passwords, and OTPs.

Police advised the general public to activate two-step verification on social media accounts to add an extra layer of security. The release cautioned the public to verify the source of the app before uploading and/or updating them. It is also highly suggested that strong, unique bank account passwords be set and changed regularly. If you accidentally enter bank details on a suspicious site, contact the bank to secure your account, the release added.

Police appealed to the public to report fraudulent activity by dialling Cyber Crime Tollfree Helpline No. 1930 or registering a complaint at

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