Mangaluru: With the introduction of Digital India initiatives, online payments have become part of our normal lives as they save considerable time and effort yet it is associated with risks too.
Online payment is safe when one chooses the right bill payment service on authentic websites while making payments. Nowadays it is difficult to differentiate between fake and secured-authentic websites.
Apart from the official website of the Mangaluru City Corporation, News Karnataka came across another website related to the water bill collection, which is all likely to be fraudulent. When you google Mangaluru city water bill payment the following website also appears on top with the official website of MCC http://22.214.171.124/tgmccploportal/. After double-clicking on the link the site appears with a name called Mangaluru City Corporation citizen portal. When you select the water billing payment it asks for the sequence number to be entered for getting the billing details.
After signing in with the user ID and password, one will get the following payment link https://www.payumoney.com/customer/paymentOptionsGroup/#/35E6883683DD26DCF2EA1CF4EB4B1454/MCCWBP Here this site uses the PayUmoney option for the bill payment method wherein the SBI online portal is used for payment in the official site of MCC. Apart from this, the website will send you the bill for the year 2018, not 2021. This again indicates the possibility of data theft as well.
Where the official website of the MCC is http://www.mangalurucity.mrc.gov.in/ .After clicking the above link one can scroll down to the SBI water bill payment option and by clicking the following link https://www.onlinesbi.sbi/sbicollect/icollecthome.htm?corpID=2979170 or by scanning the QR code one can make the payment through SBI portal.
When News Karnataka contacted MCC Mayor Premanand Shetty for the verification he said, he is unaware of any such websites. He assured that he will look into the matter and discuss it with the technical team handling the official website of MCC. Similarly, when we contacted MCC Commissioner Akshay Shridhar, he too said that he will check and inform whether the website is fraudulent or not. After which when we tried to contact them, both were not available on call to clarify the matter.
However, still people have confusion while choosing the right platform to make the online payment of the water bills. And also, the MCC billing system is a very complicated and painful task as it takes more than half an hour. It is high time that the concerned officers at Mangaluru City Corporation must consider this matter seriously and provide a secured, simplified online payment method for the citizens.