PhonePe and Google Pay are Indian digital payment processors. They are helping India in moving towards a cashless and digital economy. Amidst COVID-19 Crisis, which already took a massive toll on people’s financial well being, the last thing they need right now is getting scammed of their money on these apps.
People act as con-artists to take the best of others and earn fraudulent money at digital platforms. They use their literacy unethically, and you don’t even realize when something fishy happens with you. There is a huge rise in UPI frauds from the past few months. Various incidents have come forward where people were deceived of their money from something that looked pretty reasonable.
PhonePe and Google Pay Frauds via UPI
We mentioned UPI earlier. Do you know exactly what UPI is? It is an immediate real-time payment method that instantly transfers funds from one party to another using a mobile phone. It is controlled and supervised by the Reserve Bank of India (National Bank of India) and the Indian bank Association. Using UPI of a bank, a bank connects your bank account to its own on the app.
The request for money fraud is also on the rise. What makes it convenient for the scammer is they need to know only to click a link to start a transaction. It uses a feature in which a person sends you a payment request, and the amount is filled in by the requester. If you receive a request, you get a notification of the same. It’s up to you whether you accept or decline the request.
There are various citations where defrauders have deceived ordinary people. They get ads on Facebook and Instagram, claiming they have won monetary rewards. Below are some of the fake site URLs. Don’t give them access if you get a link to any of these:
The list of sites like these is endless. You should know there is nothing like FREE MONEY, and none of these companies offer rewards of 1-10k INR.
This fraud is through fake UPI handles, disguised to look like they belong to real companies. Social media is such a big part of our lives. With the age of influencers, earning money through ads is common.
Note that the deceivers always camouflage themselves in popular methods. Just because a UPI social media page has the word NPCI, BHIM, Paytm, PhonePe, etc., it does not make it authentic. Bala Parthasarthy, CEO and Co-founder, MoneyTap, said, “One of the classic ways in which fraudsters try to scam people is by convincing them to share their UPI PIN and/or OTP over the phone. Once they have the details, they can authenticate UPI transactions and steal money from the customer’s account.”
These scammers earn lakhs per day and run multiple ads FROM SOCIAL MEDIA PAGES, snatching money dubiously from your e-wallet.
These scammers use stolen credit cards to run these kinds of ads, which makes it even difficult to track them.
Here is a tweet by Mr.Nitin Negi exposing how much money they make, lakhs in a couple of hours. He has been quite vocal about these scams.
@PhonePe_ @PhonePeSupport @phonepe_safety
Check these scammers .. they are scamming in crores per month and phonepe is not taking any legal action kindly block these upi adress and verify their payments . i have transaction ids too . attaching upi ids in next tweet (1) pic.twitter.com/n9GZcPeh7P
— Nitin Negi (@initinnegi) July 8, 2020
The following are some of the ads the scammers are posting.
Below are some more of the ads on social media.
Here is an ad on Instagram for the same.
How can you stay safe from these frauds?
The most important way to be safe is to stay vigilant. There are slight differences in the URLs, the accounts will be unverified, they will call you posing as your bank, etc. Note the pattern. If you stay attentive, you can catch whether the party is legit or fake. Note the following information to stay even safer:
- Official banks and government agencies do not ask for financial information through SMS. If there is someone who does so, report it to the bank or e-wallet firm.
- Download only the authenticated Google Play Store or App store apps. Prefer sticking with the well-known ones.
- If your official organization gives you spam warnings, never ignore these. Block them asap.
- You never have to pay to get your UPI Pin or OTP.
- In case you get a fraudulent collect-call request, decline it and contact the e-wallet firm, whether it’s PhonePe or Google Pay, etc. Never share your OTP with the caller.
- Read thoroughly what the message is conveying. Usually, it shows that you won a certain amount, however when you click the claim button, it debits the money instead.
- No Company gives away free money. Do not believe these likes.
- There is no such thing as a 2999 Rs iPhone or a product at 90%+ Discount. Even the Manufacturing cost is higher than this.
Many customers have filed complaints to PhonePe and Google Pay. It’s time they hear the grievances and act. Till then, you stay safe with your vigilance.