Cyber intelligence firm CloudSEK on Friday said it has come across 31,179 phone numbers impersonating as customer care helplines for fraudulent activities.
The company analysed the numbers and found that 56 per cent, or 17,285, of them were Indian phone numbers, while the rest were non-Indian.
"CloudSEK has decoded a widespread scam in India that involves the use of fake customer care numbers to defraud consumers. The scam involves creating fake customer care numbers for popular brands and posting them online, tricking unsuspecting consumers into calling these numbers for assistance," the company said in a statement.
The company said that it has found 80 per cent of the Indian numbers were found to be valid and still operational.
"CloudSEK XVigil's Fake Customer Care Number module scours the internet for fake customer care numbers. Our researcher analysed a sample of around 20,000 Indian mobile numbers, used by threat actors, to run customer care scams," the statement said.
According the firm's analysis, 88 per cent of the fake customer care numbers were advertised and distributed via Facebook posts, profiles and pages.
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Around six per cent of the diameter were using Twitter accounts and 2 per cent mix Sulekha and Google to propagate their number.
"Banking and finance sector (59.4 per cent) were the most targeted by logo impersonation followed by healthcare (19.2 per cent ) and then telecommunications (10.5 per cent), respectively," the statement said.
According to CloudSEK analysis, West Bengal, where 23 per cent of the fake customer care numbers are registered, emerged as the most prominent hub with Kolkata being the centre of many large-scale operations.
"West Bengal is followed by Delhi and Uttar Pradesh which account for ~9.3 per cent each," the statement said.
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