Here are 5 ways you should learn to protect yourself from such fraud:
1. Don’t engage with fraudsters
If you are unfamiliar with a number or not certain about the identity of the caller or source of information shared, please don’t engage any further. Be wary of phone numbers shared on open web sources, especially of food or beverage outlets, as they might not be authentic. Always double check to make sure the identity of the person. Remember that your bank will never ask you for any confidential information over a call or message.
2. Remember the golden rule of receiving money
Receiving money requires no PIN. Fraudsters try to misuse the ‘request money’ feature on payment apps. They’ll feign interest in wanting to buy a product you might have listed online to sell. Always remember that if money has to be credited to your bank account, you will NEVER be asked for a PIN.
3. Be mindful of payment requests and SPAM warnings
If you receive a request from an unknown account, you are likely to get a spam warning from the UPI app. Be mindful of the option you are selecting, i.e. either ‘Pay’ or ‘Decline’. Please decline a request if you suspect fraud. Don’t be misled into thinking that you will receive funds if you click on the ‘Pay’ option. Instead, once you punch in the UPI PIN, money is transferred to the fraudster’s account.
4. Beware of counterfeit apps
Many malicious or fake apps come in disguised forms and try to cheat you. The app will look similar to the original bank app and will be easily available for download. If you accidentally download and install the fake app, it will share your sensitive data with fraudsters that will allow them to steal money from your account. Beware of counterfeit apps such as Modi Bhim, BHIM Payment-UPI Guide, Bhim Modi App, BHIM Banking Guide, etc. that have been reported as fraud apps for stealing personal data of customers in the name of providing some valuable banking service.
5. Follow safe practices
Follow some basic Dos and Don’ts to help keep your account safe –
- Never reveal your PIN to strangers.
- Keep anti-virus and biometric recognition software installed.
- Never open emails or links from unknown sources.
- Keep your details updated with your bank.
- Only use secure WiFi connections that you trust and not open ones.
- Keep track of your financial transactions and bank account statements, and an eye out for suspicious behaviour on your account.
- Alert your bank immediately if you find something unusual.