According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), 40 percent of adults between the ages of 20-29 have reported frauds where they ended up losing money in a fraud case. Here are a few real life stories to understand the most popular techniques these fraudsters are using to get unauthorized access to our private information and financial data.
Online Shopping Scam
A person named Chandrasekhar from Raipur wanted to buy a Honda Activa bike after he saw advertisement on OLX. He contacted the seller and agreed to buy the bike for Rs 22,000. The seller sent a link to the victim and was also asked to provide bank account details so that he could verify the payments made by him. As soon as Chandrasekhar sent him the details, he lost Rs 42,000 from his bank account; in three separate transactions.
Tip: Never click on any unknown link sent via message without verifying the source of the link.
A Thane resident wanted to sell his furniture and posted an ad on Facebook. After two days, he received a call from a person who offered to buy the furniture and wanted to transfer the amount through payment gateways — Paytm and Google Pay. The Fraudster requested for money on Paytm instead of sending it to the victim. After the victim complained, the scammer claimed that the transaction was a mistake and agreed to refund the money via Google Pay. The scammer requested the same amount again on Google Pay and the victim lost money again.
Tip: Read the message carefully sent by the UPI apps. Simply clicking on it can get your money transferred from your account.
A man from Visakhapatnam was looking for a home loan for the construction of a new house and searched for it online. An unknown person, claiming to be a representative of Mahindra Finance Services in Delhi, called the victim and said that he would help him get a loan. He asked him to send details of his property and a copy of Aadhaar card to firstname.lastname@example.org and told him that the loan will be sanctioned soon. The victim was then asked to transfer the processing fee and an additional amount of Rs 1,91,211 as insurance charges. The victim did as he was told and later when he enquired in the bank, he realized it was a scam.
Tip: Never share your personal information with a stranger or any third party, posing as bank representative. Verify from your nearest branch before proceeding with any type of banking transactions.
A 25-year-old woman named Lakshmi had uploaded her resume on a job portal and the following day she received a call from a man claiming to be a job consultant. The man demanded money from Lakshmi for completing various formalities required for the job. The victim got cheated of Rs 2 lakh on the pretext of offering a job in Bengaluru, Karnataka.
Tip: Never believe anyone who is asking for money for getting you a job. A genuine job consultant will never ask you for money over a call. Most of these callers are fraudsters.
Helpline Number & Unknown Link
A person from Pune got cheated of Rs 11 Lakh when he was trying to transfer money through UPI application. It showed the server down message and called the helpline number of the UPI app after searching for it online. The person who picked up the call sent him an SMS and asked to download the link in the SMS. The victim was made to download the remote access app. After downloading the link, the victim was asked to share the number which was generated. As soon as he shared the number, Rs 11.22 Lakh was deducted from the victim’s account in 15 transactions.
Tip: Never share any such OTPs with anyone over call. Always know that OTPs are generated when you take out money from your account. If someone transfers money or adds money to your account, you will never get an OTP.
5 Tips To Prevent Whatsapp Payment Frauds
WhatsApp Payments, backed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has been introduced in India. You can send money using WhatsApp and it is similar to any other UPI payments app in India. Here are the things you need to know while using WhatsApp Payments to avoid scams.
1. WhatsApp will never call or message to help you activate Payments. You will have to do it on your own. If you receive any call or message asking for payments-related or banking information from you to help you set up WhatsApp Payments on your mobile number, it’s a scam.
2. WhatsApp Payments has no official customer care number. If you have any issue with Payments, reach out to your bank immediately. Don’t fall for customer service scams.
3. You do not have to share OTPs and UPI pin or any other banking information with anyone for using WhatsApp payments.
4. Do not click on any link that you get on WhatsApp. These links can be used y scammers to obtain money from your bank account.
5. Accept Payments requests only from known people on WhatsApp. You have to be careful about Payments requests on WhatsApp because you tap on ‘Pay’ you are approving the transaction and money will be deducted from your bank account. Always call and verify the transaction before and after paying someone over UPI.