New Delhi: With the increased adoption of digital payments, imposters swindle unsuspecting callers who call up fake helpline numbers given online. Cheating someone over the phone or mail is one of the easiest ways to carry out a fraud. All it requires is confidence and oratory skills to persuade the victim.
In a common scenario, such fraud happens when consumers seek solutions to a problem by searching it on Google and dialing up the number that comes first. However, most of the people do not bother to check the organisation’s official website to verify the contact number and details.
The methods used by the tricksters include payment requests made on the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), QR code sharing on WhatsApp, etc. Due to a lack of awareness among people, they tend to share their financial information to receive payments. It may be noted that a UPI handle is enough to receive money, one need not share his or her information. PhonePe contributes nearly a third of total UPI transactions in India.
According to Dilip Asbe of the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), cited by the national publication, the corporation is now working with online providers to weed out fake helpline links. Both NPCI and banks are pooling funds to spread awareness.
Sameer Nigam, founder of PhonePe, quoted by the publication as saying, “A lot of platforms which are designed to be based on crowdsourced information or user-generated content are being taken advantage of by fraudsters. The companies are cooperative whenever we reach out with specific cases. However, what we want to see is more of a proactive approach from platforms like Google, Twitter, Facebook, etc., in the detection of fraud.”
Types of frauds-
1. Tricksters misuse the request feature on UPI by sending fake payment requests with messages such as ‘Enter your UPI PIN to receive money’, ‘Payment successful receive Rs XXX’, etc., for this you will be asked to enter your PIN.
2. People are often lured by free gifts or pre-approved loan schemes. In this tricksters collect your information from any form filled by you in any of the offline shops. Following this, they call you up and inform you that you have won some free gift, but to avail that, you will require to pay a small charge.
3. Fraudsters contact you via call or mail, telling you that some of your policies are due for maturity. You will be asked to pay some money to keep them active.
4. Then there are internet scams as well, where the enticing job offers are sent which requires you to first pay some fees and charges to apply. In such a situation, you will be asked to deposit or transfer money in a bank account.
5. Fraudsters influence victims to install screen-sharing apps such as Screenshare, Anydesk, Teamviewer, etc., and use them to gain access to their banking credentials. Though these apps are not malware, they do grant access to your financial data to the third party.
6. Frauds via banking calls, where you happen to receive a call asking you to share your PIN urgently, or else the account will be closed or deactivated.
7. Taking help from users’ social media profiles, fraudsters track their complaints and share fake contacts pretending to be a representative from the bank. Further, they will ask you for the confidential information, which should be noted that no bank ever asks about the banking credentials.
8. Fraudsters call up victims and try to sell the insurance product especially to the senior citizens. As senior citizens look for such an investment vehicle where they could park their lifetime’s earning.
How to stay safe from such frauds-
1. Never share credit or debit card number, expiry date, PIN, OTP with any unauthorised person. People know your name but except this information, do not share anything related to your card. Such details are required while carrying out any online transactions.
2. Instead of searching the bank’s helpline numbers on Google, Facebook or Twitter, always refer to their official website. In case you are searching it online on Google, then visit their website and verify the contact details.
3. Do not respond to texts or emails sent to you from unknown addresses. They will ask you to click on that link. Avoid clicking on such links.
4. While using net banking for online transactions, you are required to enter your customer ID (login ID) and passwords. It is advisable to change your net banking password every six months. The password must be a combination of upper, lower case letters, numbers, characters.