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How To Stay Secure from UPI Frauds

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The increasing number of UPI frauds is a real threat in India. Read on to know about UPI frauds and how to mitigate them…

In this digital age, the Unified Payment Interface (UPI) ecosystem is rapidly growing, especially due to its ease in interfacing for customers in India. More and more people are adapting the UPI mode of payment. With the rapid expanding of UPI user base, there comes a risk of fraud, losing money to fraudsters. UPI, being one of the foundation stones of the digital economy, needs to be airtight when it comes to security.

As the various methods of making online payments have become technologically advanced, fraudsters have also evolved different ways to scam you out of your hard earned money.

Modus Operandi
When unsuspecting users download third party UPI payment apps, fraudsters have reliable sources ‘of conveniently getting hold of your mobile number, calling you later posing as a representative of a bank or any other financial institution. Then they tell you that a certain amount of money needs to be transferred to your bank account or credit card. Not just this, if say you have registered a complaint with your telecom operator, these fraudsters will apply the same technique in this scenario too.

Posing as any of the two officials above, these fraudsters can ask you to download an app, which gives remote access to your mobile phone to carry out fraudulent transactions via UPI using the AnyDesk, Team Viewer or any other third party App. After the download is complete, they’ll ask you to share the OTP, granting access to your device.

Several banks and even the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issues advisories warning all online banking users about a particular app that s being used by fraudsters to steal money. According to a media report, fraudsters may ask you to download AnyDesk App and share a 9-digit code which gets them access to your phone to steal money.

UPI’s ‘Collect Request’ Feature
• If you are a familiar user of UPI mode, you must be aware that in order to send money to someone, you must know their VPA or other details.
• However, if someone initiates a ‘Collect Request’, you can send money to them even without knowing their VPA. This is the pain point used by fraudsters to receive your funds.
• If one unknowingly ‘Confirms’ such Collect Request from a fraudster, the account will be debited immediately.

Mitigation
To combat the UPI frauds, banks should issued a notice to customers explaining how fraudsters conduct unauthorized access to their victim’s mobile phone and also spell out the precautions needed. And to avoid UPI frauds, there are a few important things to keep a note of.

• Never share your UPI MPIN with anyone.
• Make sure and be aware of who might be the person behind that phone call, demanding your confidential financial information.
• Never share details such as debit card number, expiry date, registration OTPs on the call or other media. The bank never asks for such details.
• If you receive any suspicious text message of the similar nature with a link or a phone number from a banking institution, it would be wise to ignore it or visit your nearest bank branch to confirm it.
• Banks, credit card issuers or any financial institutions do not make such calls or send SMS of such nature.
• Also, try not to disclose your phone number especially on social media to avoid any UPI fraud transaction.
• Avoid clicking on unknown links or forwarding any suspicious SMS.

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