The growth of smartphones with internet facilities and many forms of payment through various applications have generated an enabling atmosphere for fraudulent activities. While UPI or card payments have adequate security, fraudsters utilize a variety of tactics to persuade customers to divulge sensitive information. Many people know that cybercriminals can extort money from bank deposits if they exchange sensitive information such as card numbers, CVV numbers, and one-time passwords (OTPs).
However, even if you don’t provide this data, the bank account might still be drained. Yes, you heard it right. The name of the scam is request money fraud. Request money scams are on the rise, as the number of individuals using UPI applications like Google Pay, PhonePe, and Paytm is increasing at a rapid pace. If the fraudster has the phone number of the customer, then they can be a victim of this scam. The cybercrime authorities have witnessed a rise in the number of such cases in recent times. We'll go over all the details you need to know about request money scams in this post.
Did you know?
Over 7400 cases have been reported with regards to Request Money Fraud across India in the financial year 2020/2021.
What is collect-call or request money?
Request money Fraud on PhonePe is the latest in cybercrimes to extract money from people. In this fraud, the cybercriminals can send you a request for payment using the PhonePe applications' Request Money feature. The amount is filled in by the requester while sending the payment request.
In this case, when someone gives you a request, you'll see a pop-up on your app. For making payment, you have to simply click the 'Pay' button’ and input your PIN to approve the request. You will also be able to 'Decline' the request if it is from an unknown number and no payment has to be made. If you deny a request, it becomes null and void. You have the option of blocking the requester in order to prevent them from requesting money in the future.
How is collect call/request money feature useful for a user?
Let's say you go out to dinner with your friends and at the end of the meal, you willingly pay for everyone and then you decide to collect the other people's portion of the money you paid. You can then send out collect requests to your friends to get money. In this instance, they’ll receive an SMS and an app notification. When they click on it, a pop-up with your identity, message, and the amount need to pay will appear.
You will be paid once they approve the request.
How does Request Money frauds work?
Let’s go through the simple steps in which this fraud works. Request money fraud on PhonePe is very simple for cybercriminals to execute.
- Fraudsters reply to ads for sale on Quikr and OLX.
- Fraudsters approach people who have posted sales advertisements, claiming to be interested in purchasing the item. They may act as army personnel to win people's faith. They also claim to be using applications including PhonePe to make payments.
- They will request you to activate the app and make a registration fee for the price you’ve posted in the advertisement. The general prompts from the fraudsters will mostly be "You will receive money after you pay," "You have gotten money," and so on.
- The amount is deducted from your bank account when you click Pay and input the PIN.
How can I make PhonePe more secure?
The simplest way to make your PhonePe secure is to update it on a regular basis. Every PhonePe update comes with enhanced security features than the previous version, hence it is very important to keep your PhonePe app. up to date.
How to Prevent Fraud: Do's and Don'ts
- Don't give out personal information like your card number, expiration date, PIN, or OTP to anybody. If someone acting as a PhonePe employee asks you for such information, kindly request that person to send you an email with the requested details. Only respond to emails from official sources.
- In order to receive money, you don’t have to input your UPI pin. On the other hand, you need to enter your UPI pin when you want to pay someone.
- Keep in mind that receiving money using PhonePe does not need scanning of a QR code.
- Before hitting the 'Pay' button or inputting your UPI PIN, carefully read the transaction notification shown on your PhonePe app.
- Avoid installing Third-party and unverified apps on your phone however trustworthy they are.
- Unknown mobile numbers disguising to be PhonePe Support should be avoided at all costs.
- If you receive an SMS or an email containing links to a particular website, don't click it until you've checked its authenticity.
- Accepting or paying any transaction without verifying the source is dangerous.
- Don't contact a mobile number that is unknown to you even it is used for KYC purposes.
- Do not accept calls from unknown numbers claiming to be calling from bank or credit card agency.
- Personally identifiable information should not be sent through SMS.
Pointers to remember when encountering requests from a request money scam
When encountering requests from a request money scam, remember that you do not need to input your UPI PIN to receive money. Only while you pay, you need to input your UPI PIN. If the sender is legitimate, they will always request your phone number before sending money.
- If you receive a fake money request, refuse it and notify the appropriate agency.
- Never agree to collect requests from unidentified recipients.
- On platforms like OLX, Quikr, and others, do not pay a vendor in advance. Always pay for your purchases when they are delivered to you.
With all the technologies created for digital transactions, it is easy to scam someone if they are unaware of the tactics used by fraudsters. Hopefully, this post, with its valuable information, would have provided a clear roadmap of how not to be trapped into fake phonepe scams and how to find out unauthorized Request Money Fraud.
Kindly report the case to either your card issuing bank or reach out to the nearest Cybercrime. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to report the case.
Important: Never share OTPs, PIN numbers or any other codes that you receive via SMS or other channels. Never share your Account Number or Credit and Debit Card details on a public platform.