UPI Fraud Alert! As the number of transactions on the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) platform is expanding, the number of fraud cases is also growing. UPI has eased making fund transfers for customers even without using a debit card or credit cards. UPI banking is making people adapt to this new mode of money transfer feature through mobile phones. Keeping in mind the increasing number of UPI payment fraud, HDFC has issued alert that fraudsters are stealing money from users’ bank accounts via UPI.
In a recent cautionary notice to its customers, HDFC Bank has alerted customers of the modus operandi used by fraudsters in making unauthorized access to individuals mobile phone to loot money.
In its notice, HDFC has also listed precautions that one can take up to avoid such problems.
Here's modus operandi used by fraudsters:
Downloading a Third-Party App
Fraudster call users and to draw attention, they represent themselves as the bank's representative. Then they try to scare you that your card, mobile banking will get blocked due to the ongoing issues in the App. Once hacker convinced you to believe their words, they ask to download an app to fix the problem. This app can be AnyDesk or any other remote device control app like it.
HDFC in its notice to customers has informed, “One of the recent techniques involves a fraudster taking unauthorized access to a victim’s mobile device to carry out fraudulent transactions via UPI using the AnyDesk, Team Viewer or any other third party App.”
Once downloaded the AnyDesk app or similar one, it will ask you for privacy permissions just like another regular app. The fraudster will then ask for a 9 digits app code, which is generated in your phone. As soon as the fraud caller gets 9-digit code, he will ask to grant permission from your phone.
UPI’s ‘Collect Request’ Feature
In UPI, you must know their VPA or other details of the one you want to send money. However, if someone initiates a ‘Collect Request’, you can send money to them even without knowing their VPA. If one unknowingly ‘Confirms’ such Collect Request from a fraudster, the bank account will be debited immediately.
HDFC reveals the modus operandi in such instances – “ Send “Collect request” to your VPA and ask you to approve or authenticate it on the respective UPI apps to get reversal or refunds.”
How to Avoid UPI Frauds?
- To prevent a UPI fraud, one need to make sure and be aware of the person behind that phone call asking you to download any app or share any confidential financial information.
- Also, if you receive any suspicious text message with a link or a phone number from a banking institution, you need to ignore it or visit your nearest bank branch to confirm it.
- Banks, credit card issuers or any financial institutions do not make such calls or send SMS of such nature.
- Also, try not to disclose your phone number especially on social media to avoid any UPI fraud transaction.