But with the galloping popularity of mobile wallets, scams are also emerging as a challenge. According to a survey by FSI, a global fortune 500 company, phishing is the most common fraudulent activity in India as far as mobile wallet users are concerned.
According to the study, at least 35% of the total mobile wallet users generally faced these types of activities. Along with phishing, QR/UPI code related frauds, account skimming and crypto related frauds are common weapons of attack by cyberfraudsters.
From the victim’s point of view, a mobile wallet fraud is as disastrous as a bank fraud since both steal his or her money.
Money9 offers a nine-point guide against fraudulent activities.
1. To keep the platform safe and secure, please use only the popular platforms such as Phonepay, Paytm, Google pay, Amazon pay etc. Also, while opening the app validate with OTP or biometrics of the user.
2. Do not share confidential details like UIP ID or card details or account details etc. with anyone. If anyone, posing as a company representative, asks for such details, please ask them to send an email.
3. Do not download and install third-party apps such as Screenshare, Anydesk, Teamviewer etc in the same device. Enable your phone’s security features and keep them updated—this is the first line of defense between your information and hackers.
4. Do not search for mobile wallet’s customer support numbers on Google, Twitter, Facebook etc. The only official way to reach customer support is through app or through website under “contact us” or “enquiry” section.
5. Never ever click any link send via SMS or mail to you or reply regarding your account.
6. Fraudsters often share a QR code over multimedia apps like WhatsApp and ask people to scan it in order to receive money. Remember, there is no feature which allows you to scan a QR code to receive money. Please do not scan any QR code to fall into the trap.
7. You should make your account OTP or biometric protected while paying the money, though the register app segment has this facility. Please check every time when you are going to pay.
8. Another thing to be wary of is an urgent money transfer request from a close friend or relative on a social media channel, be it Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or even WhatsApp. This are fakes and if you get anything like this, then first contact the person who sent the message.
9. Never ever use public WiFi for money transfer, use safe and secure trusted network of your home. Else use your phone network.
When contacted by a fraudster, immediately report the incident to your nearest cybercrime centre and lodge a complaint providing relevant details such as phone number, transaction details, card number, bank account etc. to the police.
Before that, it is advisable to deregister bank accounts that might be connected to the wallet.
Log in to your mobile wallet app and go to ‘help’ section. You can report the incident under ‘Account security issue/ Report fraudulent activity’.
“Usually, a scamster hacks into someone’s wallet and sends a request which is false but appears to be real. The customer needs to be vigilant to cross-validate such a request via a phone call or other methods. With the increasing usage of social media for interactions, this fraud is becoming quite common,” said Somsubhra Gupta, an ethical hacker and an IT professor.
“Unless and until there is strict regulation for mobile wallet operators these types of frauds would increase. Proper e-KYC and more security features are needed to save the common people, otherwise these scams would grow further,” said Bivas Chatterjee, cyber law expert.
Chatterjee hoped that with the new guidelines that RBI has issued for mobile wallet operators that would come into effect from April 2022, it would help improve the situation.
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