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Home » Cyber Security News » Kolkata: Hacked e-car showroom map link takes customers for a ride, IT Security News, ET CISO

Kolkata: Hacked e-car showroom map link takes customers for a ride, IT Security News, ET CISO

Kolkata: Hacked e-car showroom map link takes customers for a ride, IT Security News, ET CISO

KOLKATA: The city’s first only-electric automobile dealership, which opened on Friday, was short-circuited by a hacker, who has changed the location of the business on Google Map to a narrow lane, around 900m from where the showroom’s actual location off EM Bypass.

The showroom is located at 938, Naskarhat in Tagore Park along EM Bypass near the Ruby crossing. The PIN location of this address is, however, in the narrow Naskarhat Road where the address is between 28 and 30 Naskarhat Madhyapara in Tagore Park. Faced with business loss due to customers being directed to the obscure location, where the Google Pin has been set by the hacker, the dealership that has its office registered on VIP Road, lodged a complaint with the cyber crime unit of Bidhannagar Police on Saturday. “Someone called, Rajiv Mondal, impersonated as the owner of Karini BYD, the authorised showroom of the world’s leading electric carmaker BYD. He claimed the business on Google and dropped the PIN at a different location in a narrow, meandering lane. Though the showroom is actually right on EM Bypass, customers are being misled into a narrow, congested road. People have driven away after being unable to locate the showroom,” said Karini BYD director Nitin Himatsingka.

Kolkata: Hacked e-car showroom map link takes customers for a ride

“Since Friday, we have been getting calls from customers who are landing up at the wrong location. Our executives are directing people to the showroom using landmarks, like a restaurant or a marble showroom next door,” said Himatsingka.

The dealership came across the problem over a week ago and tried to create a new page on Google My Business but that didn’t work. When officials contacted Google, they were told the creation of a new account was being blocked as this was a duplicate account. “Someone else had created the page after fraudulently certifying the location on Google. One can get the verification done by uploading a video from the location or through one’s cellphone or through a code that Google posts to the address. Since the showroom was then under construction and we have not received any mail from Google, we suspect the verification was done through a cellphone,” said company executive Narendra Mishra, who lodged the complaint. He claimed Mondal even attempted to offer services against payment.

A Bidhannagar commissionerate officer said they would take up the issue with Google so that the fake listing was taken down.

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