Unified Payment Interface or UPI is one of the most preferred modes of payment for cashless translation and online payments. The payment method works across different financial bodies with numerous stakeholders. The ease of payment and the effectiveness are what make UPI a popular choice. With popularity, also rises the chance of fraud and scams. UPI ecosystem is no different. There are multiple scams involving UPI users that have surfaced in the past few years. In such cases, the same ease of payment becomes a curse more than a boon. However, there are certain checks and balances in place to reduce the chances of fraud. Also Read - How to delete Google Pay transaction history permanently
The user also needs to keep in mind certain factors when using UPI to either pay or receive money. Also Read - Google in talks to join India's open e-commerce network
Five ways in which you can avoid being defrauded on UPI Also Read - How to block someone on Google Pay: A step-by-step guide
1. Beware of unknown identities, numbers
If you come across an unfamiliar number or even an identity you’re suspicious of, it is always better steer away from any interaction. You should especially be wary of phone numbers shared on open web sources. For instance, phone numbers of especially of food or beverage outlets. It is always best practice to double-check the identity of the person before going ahead with the transaction. Th
2. Never insert PIN to receive money
One of the most frequent complaints of fraud can be traced back to this one factor. The bank will never ask for your PIN to receive money. Fraudsters try to create a sense of urgency while promising to send money. They eventually ask the receiver to enter their PIN to accept the money. This is never the case and in all cases, the user loses their money if they fall into this trap.
3. Random Payment Requests
Most UPI applications have a SPAM filter in place that tracks payments requests from certain UPI IDs. You will be warned if you come across any such identity. The warning should be a big red flag for you. Go ahead with the transaction only if you are 100 percent sure that the person on the other end is not a fraudster. You will get an option to either ‘Pay’ or ‘Decline’. In case of the slightest of doubt, you should ‘Decline’. You will never receive funds if you click on the ‘Pay’ option, no matter the circumstance.
4. Fake UPI Applications
In the era of ATM card machines, there were a lot of instances of card skimming. The practice of recording your card details via a fake machine planted over the original one. In a similar way, fake UPI apps try to grab your details under the pretext of either making a payment or receiving it via UPI.
Such apps are usually designed to 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. A Citi bank advisory claimed that users should beware of counterfeit apps such as Modi Bhim, BHIM Payment-UPI Guide, Bhim Modi App, BHIM Banking Guide, etc.
5. Some basic things you should remember
-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.