E-challan scam: How vehicle owners are being targetted via SMS and how to stay safe – Firstpost

Representational image.
The government has warned the public of a new e-challan scam.
According to several media reports, the scammers are targeting citizens via SMS.
The Information Security Awareness, Meity, posted on X:
फर्जी ई-चालान घोटाले के झाँसे में न आएँ!”🚦🚗🛵
आपकी सुरक्षा आपकी जिम्मेदारी 🪖#TrafficFines #FakeEChallan #India #staysafeonline #cybersecurity #g20india #g20org #g20summit #besafe #staysafe #ssoindia #meity #mygovindia #NeerajChopra
— Information Security Awareness (ISEA) by MeitY (@InfoSecAwa) August 28, 2023

But what is the scam? And how can you keep yourself safe? And what can you do if you fall prey to it?
Let’s take a closer look:
What is it?
As per NDTV, the fraudsters are sending text messages to the phones of vehicle owners.
These messages resemble the e-challans sent by traffic police.
If you click on the payment link it directs you to a fake website which then asks you to put in your banking information.
Even if you don’t, your phone is now left vulnerable to hackers.
How can you stay safe?
According to NDTV, before making a payment first double-check on an official government website if an e-challan has indeed been issued.
Also, no e-challan will come from a normal cellphone number.
The authorities also helpfully provided an example of a fake message.
“Your challan No. is XXXXXXXX for XXXXXXXX having a total challan amount as Rs 500. For online payment visit: you can also contact RTO office for disposal of challan. Regards, RTO.”
Faridabad DCP Headquarters and Cyber Crime Officer Hemendra Kumar Meena was quoted by The Times of India as saying that one major giveaway that the message is fraudulent is that it does not contain the engine and chassis number.
Meena added that a genuine message would end in “”.
Meena asked the public to stay safe from such scams being perpetrated online.
What if you fall prey to it?
Contact the authorities immediately.
As per NDTV, your first course of action should be to dial 1930 – the National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal.
Next, quickly file a complaint at
This may be able to stop the transaction.
The next two steps would be alerting your bank and going to the nearest police station and filing a complaint.
In May, a LocalCircles report stated that around 39 per cent of families surveyed claimed to have experienced financial fraud in the last three years.
Only 24 per cent of them got their funds back
The largest group of 23 per cent respondents in the survey indicated to have experienced credit or debit card fraud while 13 per cent indicated fraud by buying, selling and classified site users.
As per the survey, 13 per cent were defrauded by websites taking money for products that were not delivered, 10 per cent indicated ATM card fraud, another 10 per cent indicated bank account fraud and 16 per cent mentioned other frauds.
With inputs from agencies
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