Fraudsters have hit a Mumbai-based investment banking analyst who lost Rs 87,000 while buying three beer online via UPI. UPI is also known as Unified Payments Interface, a digital payments platform. Retracing the information about the online UPI fraud, reports shared a rough sequence of events. Radhika Parekh dialed a number listed for Star Wine shop which she found on Google for alcohol stores in Powai. She was requested by the store staff over the phone to make the payment of Rs 420 on Google Pay. The person on the phone also asked her to share her UPI ID. Also Read - Here is how fraudsters are trying to cheat OLX and Quikr users
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Once Parekh shared her ID, she received a payment request on Google Pay. The moment she accepted the request, Rs 29,001 were debited from her account. When she called the shop and inquired, the staff apologized and said that amount was debited owing to a mistake. After she disconnected the call, another transaction of Rs 58,000 was made from her account. Also Read - Delhi businessman loses Rs 2.5 lakh to a fraudster via e-commerce scam: Here is how to be safe
The store owner told Parekh that the number she called did not belong to them when she went to inquire. The police have registered the case under sections of cheating of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and IT Act. Earlier in May, Anil Padam Singh lost Rs 1 lakh from his digital wallet account. This happened when he called a finance firm regarding the EMIs on his new mobile phone.
Following the fraud back in May, Google Pay started sending SMS messages along with app notifications to inform users. Users now get an SMS message and an app notification each time they receive a collect request. This is done to highlight that approving the request will deduct money from their bank accounts. With increased online payments it is important to know how to protect UPI transactions from cyber fraud.
Ways to avoid fraud
We also recommend users to carefully analyze all the notifications that they receive on the app. It is fine to take your own time to understand the messages and prompts. For a safe transaction, always call the legal and official numbers of call centers in case there is an issue in the transactions. In case of a fraud, make sure that you immediately contact your bank to report the theft. You should also contact RBI to report the issue after you are done complaining to the back. Beyond this, follow basic cybersecurity practices such as securing every account and every app that contains such sensitive information with a password.
With inputs from IANS