After demonetization in November 2016, there has been a bigger push towards Digital India initiative. You can now book a cab, do mobile recharge and bill payments, and even banking transactions on your phone. Mobile wallets and UPI-based bank apps and BHIM have played a critical role in making mobile banking easier. And while UPI has been pitched as a completely safe platform for funds transfer, a man from Noida fell victim to a fraud.
30-year-old Mohan Lal, was shocked to discover that fraudsters managed to siphon 6.8 lakh from his bank account. He found about this when he went to withdraw cash at the ATM. Fraudsters managed to do this over 7 transactions in last three months. The man was baffled and confused as he doesn’t own a smartphone, never used UPI app, or shared his ATM PIN or OTP with anyone.
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According to a report on TOI, the amount was transferred from the victim’s SBI saving account using a UPI app. “It was on 4 December when I visited an ATM to withdraw some money, I found out the fraud. I then went to my bank branch in Sector 20, only to learn that the money was transferred seven times from my account since 29 September,” Lal told the publication.
Lal informed the police about the money that was robbed from his bank account. He also mentioned that he never got any SMS alert regarding the transaction. Now, it may get one thinking as to how this incident took place when the victim does not own a smartphone, or created a UPI account.
But, you don’t need a smartphone to use UPI, as the UPI account is tied to the mobile number. Even on a feature phone, one can dial *99# and make a transaction. In this case, it is likely that hackers got a duplicate SIM by blocking the original one, downloaded the UPI app, registered bank details and carried out the fraud.
However, it is not that simple, as creating a UPI account just doesn’t depend on OTP. You need to enter the debit card number, expiry date, CVV number and the OTP, then set a new 4-digit or 6-digit UPI transaction PIN to make transfers. Manoj Panth, SHO of Sector 20 police station, told the publication that they will take help from cyber cell to solve this case.