As digital transactions become more prevalent in our daily lives, the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) has emerged as a popular mode of payment and fund transfer due to its convenience. However, this convenience also brings with it the potential risk of frauds 1.
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What is UPI scam?
UPI scams are fraudulent activities that aim to deceive users into revealing sensitive information or transferring money to unauthorized accounts. Scammers use various tactics such as creating fake websites, emails, or SMS messages that mimic legitimate UPI apps or service providers. They may also send fake money requests or use screen mirroring apps to initiate unauthorized transactions. Another tactic is vishing, where scammers pretend to be representatives of banks or UPI service providers 1.
How UPI scam works
|How UPI Scam Works
|Creation of Fake Platforms
|Scammers create counterfeit websites, emails, or SMS messages that closely resemble legitimate UPI apps or service providers. They entice users to click on malicious links or input their UPI PINs, passwords, or OTPs on these fraudulent platforms.
|Fake Money Requests
|Scammers send deceptive money requests to users’ UPI accounts, often posing as friends, family members, or customer service representatives. They employ tactics such as creating urgency or offering incentives to trick users into accepting the request without proper verification.
|Utilization of Screen Mirroring Apps
|Scammers persuade users to download and install screen mirroring apps by posing as technical support providers. Under the pretext of assisting with technical issues, these apps enable scammers to remotely control the user’s device. This control extends to accessing UPI apps and initiating unauthorized transactions without the user’s knowledge.
|Scammers engage in vishing by making phone calls and pretending to be representatives of banks, UPI service providers, or government agencies. Through these calls, they attempt to trick users into revealing sensitive information or transferring money by falsely claiming there is an urgent issue that needs immediate resolution.
Tips to stay protected from UPI scams
- Never share your UPI PIN, password, or OTP with anyone.
- Before clicking on any links or entering your credentials on a website, ensure the URL is authentic.
- If you receive a money request from someone you don’t recognize, exercise caution. Verify their identity before accepting the request.
- Scammers often create urgency or offer incentives to trick users into acting without thinking. Don’t rush into any transactions based on such tactics.
- Use reputable antivirus and anti-malware software on your device. These apps can help detect and block malicious links or apps that could be used for scams 1.