Bank fraudsters have now turned to exploit the user-friendliness of Google Maps to ply their trade.

Scamsters have been taking advantage of the ease with which Google Maps allows any user to edit the contact details of any establishment to con bank account holders, according to police.

A group of alleged con artists have been adding their contact details by editing banks' contact details to divert calls to the banks to themselves, according to the Maharastra police's cyber cell.

This way, the alleged scammers in Thane, north of Mumbai, have been accessing bank customers' details, police said.

When the unsuspecting customers call the number, the fraudsters get hold of sensitive information like the account details like account number, phone numbers, and even more sensitive information linked to the bank account, a report in The Hindu newspaper said.

"We have received at least three complaints from the Bank of India (BoI) over the last one month. In all three instances, we immediately notified the authorities at Google," Superintendent of Police Balsing Rajput of the cyber police unit told the newspaper.

Critical details

Rajput said many customers have the habit of searching online for bank's contact details. They ask for assistance after calling the incorrect number that appears on Google Maps. Without really knowing it, the bank customers would actually be speaking to a scammer.

The person who takes such calls uses some pretext to get the customer to reveal critical details such as debit or credit card personal identification number or the security code (CVV), enabling the scammers to withdraw money from their accounts.

"After these incidents came to our notice, we modified the contact details on these branch listings on Google Maps. We asked users to use only Bank of India's official website to search for branch contact details," a BoI spokesperson said.

A Google spokesperson told the newspaper: "Overall, allowing users to suggest edits provides comprehensive and up-to-date info, but we recognise there may be occasional inaccuracies or bad edits suggested by them. When this happens, we do our best to address the issue as quickly as possible. The Google Safety Center outlines tips to help consumers stay safe online."