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    8 digital payment-related scams and how you can avoid them


    Do not seek help from strangers to complete payment transactions. Do not download apps, except recommended by seemingly-helpful people. ET Wealth unravels the modus operandi involved and tells you how to avoid being taken for a ride.

    5 ways you can lose money while making payments online
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    Several payment-related scams have come to light in recent months. ET Wealth unravels the modus operandi involved and tells you how to avoid being taken for a ride.

    1. The remote access mobile application scam
    Modus operandi

    Fraudsters, who had listed fake numbers online under an NGO's name, gained access to a Mumbai resident’s debit card details by asking her to download Anydesk, a remote desktop software tool, which provides a third party a complete view of the user’s screen. She wanted to transfer funds to the NGO to cremate her pet. Instead, her debit card details were compromised and Rs 30,000 was withdrawn from her bank account.

    Lessons to learn
    Do not seek help from strangers to complete payment transactions. Do not download apps, except official ones, recommended by seemingly-helpful people, even if they claim to be bank staff.

    2. Trap for gullible insurance seekers
    Modus operandi

    In this, scammers prey on an individual’s inability to spot the difference between the official and fake portals of the insurance regulator. A counterfeit portal going by the URL www.irdaionline. org managed to sell fake policies to insurance seekers until the Irdai issued an alert, and the URL was blocked.

    Lessons to learn
    Irdai does not sell insurance policies. Stay away from portals misusing domains that are akin to regulators’ offi cial ones to swindle funds.

    3. Phishing smses promising income tax refund
    Modus operandi

    A Mumbai-based private sector employee received a link, purportedly from the income tax department, regarding a tax refund he was eligible for. Once he clicked on the link, he was directed to a mobile application that got downloaded on his phone. Tricksters elicited his account access details and siphoned off money.

    Lessons to learn
    The income tax department directly credits the refund to the bank account mentioned in your I-T return form. Do not trust any messages, links, online forms or calls seeking additional account/card details.

    4. The KYC update hoax
    Modus operandi

    An IAS officer in Udaipur lost Rs 6 lakh when she clicked on a fraudulent link asking her to update her KYC. She was prompted to enter her account details and the OTP received, following which she received messages from her bank notifying her of debits worth Rs 6 lakh.

    Lessons to learn
    Do not click on links received through SMSes. Rely on official websites or bank branches to complete the process, if required.

    5. Simpleto-crack passwords
    Modus operandi

    Here, victims make hacking an effortless job for hackers. The United Kingdom’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) recently released a list of ‘most hacked’ passwords. Over 23 million accounts worldwide were breached as they had 123456 as their passwords.

    Lessons to learn
    While the data pertains to the UK, it is a pointer to the hazards of using passwords and PINs that are easy to decode.


    6. Fake UPI-based payment links
    Modus operandi

    Fraudster asked the victim, a Pune-based trader, to transfer a nominal amount of Rs 10 to a mobile number from his digital wallet. It was presented as ‘registration fee’ to initiate the online purchase of a scooter. Subsequently, he received payment links where he had to enter his UPI ID and OTP received and send it back to the fraudster. The information was used to transfer Rs 1.53 lakh out of his accounts.

    Lessons to learn
    Transact only through the offi cial BHIM or bank UPI apps. Do not use links sent by unknown entities, even if they seem authentic.

    7. Fraudulent NPCI/UPI/BHIM handles and portals
    Modus operandi

    Myriad Twitter handles masquerading as @NPCI_BHIM official helpline handle have mushroomed on the micro-blogging site. The fake accounts trick customers looking for help to reveal their account, wallet or card details.

    Lessons to learn
    Look for verified-by-twitter blue ticks while interacting with National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), bank or payment wallet helplines.

    8. Lack of awareness of UPI pay options
    Modus operandi

    A Pune resident who wished to sell his air-cooler was tricked by a prospective buyer who agreed to pay `9,000 through a UPI-based app. However, the latter sent a ‘pay’ request to the former, who promptly authorised it without realising that the amount would be debited from, not credited to, his account.

    Lessons to learn

    Use of newer technologies calls for additional caution. Since UPI-based apps enable push (pay/send) and pull (receive/collect) transactions, newer users could get confused. Understand the processes thoroughly before rushing to use them.
    ( Originally published on Nov 04, 2019 )
    (Click here to know how to save on taxes for the financial year 2020-21.)

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    8 Comments on this Story

    Kate Prepon64 days ago
    Can the victims of scam get their money back? Yes, if you have fallen victim to scam from an unregulated investment platform or any scam at ll then are eligible to recover what was stolen from you and this can only happen if this is reported to the right people. With the right approach and with evidence, you will get what you lost back. Those behind these unregulated platforms will likely want to sell the idea that what happened to your investment was an unfortunate occurrence when in reality what happened was theft via elaborate means. If you are a victim or you know any one who is a victim of these occurrences, you should know there are people who can help you. Simply search ( c o r e c r y p t o t e c h- c r y p t o c u r r e n c y r e c o v e r y ) on google just the way it is in that bracket. It is never too late if you have the right information, your sanity can be restored.
    anu t445 days ago
    If u want to avoid the online scams you must choose the offline stores
    Recently I heard about HalfPrice.Live Its a location-based app and having a minimum 50% off on every product and services, in that we can order the product and pay at the store directly, and we can touch and feel the product. I prefer offline shopping
    James C. Pamela486 days ago
    The NFA does not regulate binary trading (yet), and most binary options brokers worldwide are unregulated. The few who are regulated are generally based in Cyprus and are regulated by Cysec. These brokers may or may not be the best ones, so you will need some other criteria to help you make your choice and avoid binary trading scams
    Check into how well capitalized a broker is before you sign up with a company. A well capitalized company is much less likely to lose your money than one which has plenty of money for operations. Even though binary options brokers aren’t regulated like FX brokers right now, you can still find out whether a broker has $20 million in capital by checking with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
    If you have in any way lost your hard earned funds to any of these scam brokers, I have a good news for you. Asset recovery now is a leading firm that helps with binary option & ICO loss recovery. Contact them on TWITTER & INSTAGRAM ; scamsrescue or info AT assetrecoverynow DOT co
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