In recent times, the digital payment segment has gained immense popularity in India. This has given rise to numerous services such as Paytm, PhonePe, Google Pay and others. The government's Digital India initiative has helped this segment grow. Besides this, UPI has made it easy and simple for users to send and receive money instantly.
During the on-going COVID-19 crisis that has forced people to stay at home, online payments have been preferred by many as they can pay for purchases right from the comfort of their home. And, this is the time that scamsters are using to make profit and cheat people.
Given that UPI enables transactions directly from the users' bank accounts, this mode of transaction is a great tool for scamsters to make money. Of late, many people in India have lost a huge sum of money in the UPI scams. Below are a few such scams that you should be aware of.
The Request Money scam is a common UPI scam that people are still not careful about. All the popular UPI apps have an option to request money from another user. This option is misused by scamsters. For instance, if you are waiting for someone to pay you for some reason, the person will send you a payment request instead of paying you the money. Once you get the request, if you key in your UPI M-PIN, then your account will be debited and the money will go to the scamster's account.
Sometimes, in order to lure you into cashback offers, scamsters might call you in the disguise of a bank's or retail store's customer care executive and say that you have won some cashback and ask you to accept it via any UPI app. Once you fall for their attempt, you will get a message of the mentioned amount on your UPI app. Now waiting to get this cashback, you might key in the PIN, which will transfer money to the caller's account.
These days, counterfeit versions of popular apps are available on the Google Play Store with similar names that might make you download the wrong app. Before downloading apps, you need to check for the rating as these apps will have poor ratings. These fake apps wil ask users to provide debit card PIN and OTP during registration. Only you key in the OTP, the payment will be authenticated by the scammer.
Fake Customer Care/Helpline
Fake helpline or customer care number is a growing scam these days. When you search for a local business, the fake number will be shown on the Google listing. This unverified number could be that of a scammer. This is done by making Google believe that this is the actual number by registering the business on multiple platforms and social media channels. When you call the fake number, the scammer will ask you for a partial or full payment before proceeding with the order via UPI.
Besides these, there are other UPI scams such as SIM forwarding, SIM cloning and much more. Having said that, it is important that you take proper measures to make sure you do not fall victim to the scams that are happening in UPI transactions.