How easy it is these days to make a transaction? Whether you are paying for your food at a roadside eatery or purchasing a home appliance online from a buyer sitting thousands of miles away, all you need to do is scan a QR code, or enter a phone number to make the payment. Of course, you have to stay aware of fraudsters trying all sorts of ways to rob you of your hard-earned money. Apparently, the daughter of Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal did not pay attention while selling her furniture online. Also Read - "Mobile payments exceeded ATM cash withdrawals for the first time" in India last year: PM Modi
If you follow the news, you must have heard of Delhi CM’s daughter getting duped of Rs 34,000 by an online fraudster. Harshita Kejriwal recently tried to sell her furniture to a buyer over OLX and got tricked of a sum of Rs 34,000. The police are already investigating the case and we hope she gets justice. Also Read - Google Pay vs Amazon Pay: Check which one offers better rewards, discounts to its users
However, as an aware consumer, you can avoid the same mistake and save yourself as well as your finances from online fraudsters by knowing what’s wrong and how to avoid it. Also Read - Using Paytm Transit card you can travel in metro, bus, train and more cashless
Kejriwal daughter OLX scam: What happened?
Harshita Kejriwal was selling her furniture on the second-hand seller platform OLX and secured an interested buyer. After negotiations, the buyer sent her a QR code, asking Kejriwal to scan it in order to receive the payment. Once she scanned the code, her account got deducted a sum of Rs 20,000. After she inquired about the issue, the buyer sent another QR code, promising to sort it out. However, her account got deducted again, this time an amount of Rs 14,000.
What went wrong here?
While the exact details on the mode of the transaction aren’t available yet, it seems Harshita Kejriwal was using a UPI-based payment app to make the transaction. Apps such as Google Pay, PhonePe, and Paytm allow users to request money in the form of a message-like request, or a QR code to scan. Fraudsters use this method to cheat people.
In this case, Kejriwal became a victim by scanning the QR code twice. She should have refrained from scanning the code in order to avoid getting cheated by the fraudster.
How to stay safe from such fraudsters while using UPI/wallet payment apps?
There’s no foolproof way to keep yourself secure while making online payments. However, you can keep certain pointers in mind before making any online transaction.
-Never scan any QR code sent by an unknown entity via payment apps or social media. Moreover, if you are asked to input your UPI PIN, avoid making any progress. A QR code scan is basically your acknowledgment of the other person requesting money. If you are the seller, you should always refrain from accepting any payment request. In fact, you should be the one sending your UPI registered phone number, or UPI ID.
-Online marketplaces like OLX always encourage the buyer and seller to meet in person and exercise caution before making a deal. Scamsters are always waiting to prey on innocent people in a variety of ways. If possible, collect all details about the other party before you make a decision.
-Fraudsters will always try to show a sense of urgency in getting the deal done. If the other party is giving weird excuses to make the deal quickly or forcing you to accept their request, close the payment app and contact the nearest police station for assistance.