UPI scams: How they work, different types and tips to keep your money safe – Times of India

As the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) gains widespread popularity as the preferred payment method in India, there is a corresponding surge in scams associated with this digital transaction system. Fraudulent activities are on the rise, particularly targeting individuals less familiar with technology, and resulting in the unlawful extraction of significant sums, ranging from thousands to lakhs of rupees. Recently, a woman successfully thwarted a scammer’s attempt to deceive her. She received a call from an individual claiming to transfer her dad’s ‘LIC money’ to her Google Pay account. The caller stated that he would send ₹25,000 through two Gpay transactions. Subsequently, she received a message falsely indicating a transfer of ₹50,000, prompting her to discern the scam and effectively prevent it.
What is a UPI scam?
A UPI scam is a fraudulent activity that aims to trick you into revealing sensitive information or transferring money using the Unified Payments Interface (UPI). UPI is a popular digital payment system in India that allows you to transfer funds instantly between bank accounts using your mobile phone. While UPI has made transactions faster and more convenient, it has also made users more vulnerable to fraud.
Fake bills scam
Among the prevalent UPI scams, fake bill scams stand out as a common type. Typically, scammers reach out to UPI users, claiming there are outstanding bills to be settled. When a user asserts having already paid the bill, the scammers attempt to persuade them that the transaction did not occur, suggesting the use of a specific UPI app to ensure timely payment of bills. Unfortunately, unsuspecting users fall prey to this deception and end up downloading a counterfeit app to make payments.
Fake investment schemes
Scammers also target individuals with fraudulent investment schemes, enticing them with promises of doubling their invested amount in a short timeframe. Tempted by the prospect of significant rewards with minimal investment, UPI users often succumb to such scams and end up making payments through unauthorised links, ultimately leading to the loss of their hard-earned money.
Fake customer support services
Fraudsters might send monetary requests to UPI account users, posing as friends, family members, or purported customer service representatives from a bank or government agency. Operating under the guise of offering technical support, they persuade users to download specific apps, allowing the scammers to gain remote control of their devices and carry out unauthorised transactions.
How to stay protected from UPI scam
The most effective method of safeguarding oneself is to take a proactive approach when making digital payments. Refrain from sharing your UPI PIN, password, or OTP with anyone. Avoid clicking on unfamiliar links or entering your credentials on dubious websites. Exercise caution by never accepting a money request from an unrecognised source.

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