Growing pace of digital transactions has brought ease and convenience to the users enabling 24×7 availability of products and services revolutionized their spending behavior and speed of shopping decisions. However, here comes the caution to remain careful while executing the payment transactions. Some cheats always create opportunities how to steal your hard-earned money. They play emotional quotient to convince the gullible consumers who end up with bad bargains or lose money in the process. We are sharing below a few examples,
• Fake call or SMS informing that your KYC has expired and needs to be redone otherwise your bank account would be blocked. The caller misrepresents as bank executive and takes you to fake website that asks you to furnish account credentials, card number, expiry date, CVV, etc. Having captured your account credentials, s/he withdraws money from your accounts while keeping your call on hold.
Beware of such fraudsters; Paytm never calls you to share your account/card credentials for updating KYC. You can check your KYC status from the App.
For more details regarding completion of KYC, please refer our blog https://support.paytm.com/cst-support/steps-to-complete-full-kyc
• Fake offers for employment, Govt subsidies, higher education, online coaching classes, Work from Home opportunities, part time jobs, Covid 19 Vaccine registration, etc. Criminals target young and educated people in the name of job offers. They get access to information from social media / job portals and using the details of phone, email to send details of promising job opportunities in reputed companies. They make the victim interact with multiple levels of HR executives to give an impression that they are genuine entities. Once the potential victim falls into their trap, they start demanding fees in the nature of registration charges, document verification, interview scheduling, uniform advance, etc. After extracting amount from the victim, they stop further communication.
No genuine recruiter will demand large sums for registration, document verification, interview scheduling, etc. Fraudsters impersonate as genuine job consultancy firms by using similar email accounts, logo, etc. Please verify the details of the firm before committing any payment towards job assistance.
• Unrealistic and heavy discount offers, whereby the fraudsters vanish after taking the money or supply inferior or counterfeit items. Examples: Fraudsters offer electronic products such as mobile phones, laptops, refrigerators, television, etc. on WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook, and other social media platforms and share fake invoice images, fake courier tracking IDs, fake chats with customers showing product as delivered, and so on to gain the customers trust. Similarly, Lottery scammers appear as friends or organizations who are thrilled to tell you that you have won money in some lottery or contest. To get the prize, you will have to either pay a fee or “refundable” advance or provide personal information such as your AADHAR, PAN, CARD details, etc.
Always take care to check authenticity of such offers, cash backs, do not get carried away with unrealistic takeaways, understand judiciously to check product descriptions. Never share your account or card details.
• Fake links and websites shared by the fraudsters through e-mails, sms and social networking platforms. The trap is by way of cash backs, promo code, gifts to lure victims. By sending small token amount, the fraudsters create trust and then send links for extracting money. The victims end up in clicking Pay options by authorizing transactions. Fraudsters create a genuine looking website of some known brand or create a new website on which the products are offered for a very cheap price or at high discount from MRP. They induce the unsuspecting customer to pay online and once the payment is done, the customer never gets the ordered product. Do not fall prey to deep discounts, especially on aspirational products such as mobile phones, costly shoes, leather accessories, electronic gadgets, etc. If the offer is too good to be true, it probably is not. Never open any link received from unknown persons. Also be sure about website security, for details on QR codes frauds, please refer to our Blog.
• Fake customer care and call center number is hosted by the fraudsters on search engines like Google. Upon calling the mentioned numbers, the users are misguided to share his/her account details to prompt hacking of accounts.
Always use authenticated sources viz. Google Play store to get website details and related information.
• Fake relatives or acquaintances contacting though phone, fake IDs created on social websites, WhatsApp. In such cases, the scammer or fraudster either creates an account impersonating an actual Facebook account or hacks into an existing Facebook account. In either case, the scammer/hacker/ fraudster uses the fake/hacked account to send private messages to the account holder’s friends that elicit either money or personal information on the pretext of some urgent help/need(SOS) quoting some emergency like accident, hospitalization, etc. Donation frauds, which target on gullible persons’ desire to serve a person in need, ask for money on the pretext of helping a needy person, especially in the present times of Covid Pandemic.
Be careful on receipt of such calls or messages, reconfirm authenticity of caller and never react in panic. Always cross check the genuinely of the profile by looking at old posts. Change your Default Privacy Settings on social media Profiles. Persons who are outside your close circle should not have access to view your friend list, your bio-data, your personal posts, etc.
Caution: Haste makes waste. Establish authenticity before making payments.