Sat-Sun 12.00 - 18.00 +919871330125
According to a study by a UK-based market research firm YouGov and NASDAQ-listed ACI Worldwide, there has been an increase of 32% in digital payments through credit and debit cards, mobile wallets, and other UPI-based payment methods amid the coronavirus scare. The increasing preference for digital payments owing to its convenience and the preventive measures for coronavirus has unfortunately also led to an increase in digital scams.
Recently, my relative lost all the money saved in his bank account after a call with a ‘customer care executive’ calling from his network provider to get the KYC done. You may also have received such calls or may know someone who has lost their money through such calls. It is important to know about the different types of scams that are happening digitally so that you can keep yourself and your closed ones informed.
Phishing (sometimes known as vishing) is one of the most common digital frauds in India. Phishing is a technique where fraudsters try to obtain your sensitive information using emails, text messages, or phone calls. These fraudsters pretend to be a representative from an authorized institution like banks or trusted apps and trick you into sharing sensitive information. Given below are some of the common phishing attacks happening across India.
Through KYC payment scams, fraudsters have been able to easily dupe people of their hard-earned money.
The process starts like this- A person calls you saying that he/she is calling from digital payment apps like Paytm or PhonePe. You are then informed that your KYC verification is pending and needs to be verified immediately.
Another form of KYC payment scam is sending messages with links to update KYC details. Once you click on the link, they ask you to share sensitive information or send money from your account.
How to avoid digital frauds related to KYC update:
Do not click on any links that ask for a KYC update. KYC update can be done from the app itself and you don’t have to visit another website or download additional apps to update it.
In this scam, fraudsters call people pretending to be a customer service executive or a member of registered businesses. They then ask you to download an app to claim your cashback, get income tax returns, or claim your money. After downloading the app, they ask you to share the code shown in the app. Once you share the code, they get full access and control of your device and steal money from your bank accounts.
How to avoid digital frauds related to remote access:
Never download apps recommended by a seemingly legitimate bank or NGO people. They never ask you to download apps. Also, don’t take payment help from people calling you as a representative of a bank, payment apps, insurance companies, income tax department, or NGOs.
Users also get messages asking them to click a link to get an income tax refund, claim money, track orders, or get offers. When you click on the link, you are taken to fraud websites.
The websites contain malware that infects the phone and steals sensitive information. Sometimes, the websites sell you their products or ask you to fill a form and infect your device with a virus.
How to avoid digital frauds related to messages containing links:
Do not click on links claiming that you got a refund, lottery, or offers. Also, do not fill in the information on websites that require sensitive information like card details, account details, etc.
Since UPI has become an important part of the cashless economy, UPI scams take so many forms that it becomes very difficult for a person to understand the fraud going on.
How to avoid digital frauds related to UPI:
Use only the official BHIM and UPI based apps for transactions. And don’t click any links for transactions. Also, note the official website , social media handles, and email ids, so that you don’t get directed to fraud sites.
Understand a payment app properly before using it. Know the function of various buttons and be wary of people who ask you to pay or request money.
Cashback scams are one of the popular digital scams happening in India. Fraudsters use this scam in various ways. Sometimes, they call you as a representative from a popular app or service like PhonePe and Google Pay. They then ask you to collect your cashback by visiting the app or a link.
How to avoid digital frauds related to cashback
Know that no company calls their users to collect cash back unless you yourself have mailed or asked for support.
In the SIM swap scam, the fraudster clones your SIM card and gets access to all your messages, OTP’s, and bank account registered with that number. To clone your number, they call your service operator and ask them to deactivate your SIM card and get another SIM card with the same number. Obviously, to do this, the scammer needs to provide your personal details. This is where they scam you using various techniques. They may call you as a representative of a bank or trusted institute and ask for your personal details. Or, they may ask you to fill up forms with your personal information.
Once they get the information, they call your service provider as you and ask them to deactivate your SIM card. They then are able to activate your number in their SIM card and have access to your bank accounts and OTPs.
How to avoid digital frauds related to SIM swap:
Be aware of whom you are sharing your personal information. If you notice that your mobile phone doesn’t have a network for a long time, then call your service provider immediately. Also, check if you have received any notifications or alerts regarding the SIM swap.
No matter how many digital frauds that we list out, the scammers will always come up with new ways to scam people. Hence, awareness is the main thing that will safeguard you against these scams.
Read about the latest scams, share them with your friends, and always be wary of calls and messages that say that you have won something out of the blue. No company messages you link for claiming money, updating KYC, or claiming your cashback. All these things can be done from the app itself. Hence, you don’t even have to download other apps.
So, keep yourself aware and improve your understanding of these digital platforms to avoid digital scams.