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By Fiona Mehta

 

The way we transfer money online or pay for services has changed as a result of Unified Payments Interface (UPI) payment apps. We frequently receive coupons or bonus points for using UPI. Such benefits, however, might be dangerous and potentially rob you in the realm of cybercrime.

According to the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) data, the UPI payment figure crossed Rs 10 lakh crores in June 2022. It is suggested that people should avoid coupons/cashback asking for a UPI app, PIN or any OTP.

A Mumbai resident, Akshay claimed that after using PhonePe to transfer money, he received a call from a hacker who enticingly offered him a cashback reward of Rs 4,000. The fact that the promised incentive was actually visible in the app’s notification section solidified Akshay’s faith. But when the hacker requested his UPI PIN to earn the prize, he believed there was foul play involved.

Sanjay Shintre, SP of the Maharashtra Cyber Cell, claims that many people frequently fall prey to the hunger of such payback and divulge their UPI PIN to hackers. For the purpose of receiving rewards or cashback, the UPI PIN is irrelevant.

Once the hackers get the user’s UPI PIN, they can access their smartphone. They send cashback alerts that create the impression that the notification is genuine by accessing the payment app’s files. Users submit their PIN or OTP with hackers because they think the notice is legitimate and they want to earn the prize. They thus lose the money in their associated account.

Never share confidential details like UPI PIN, OTP, etc. with anyone on the phone. Also, banks never call you to ask these details.

What should you do in the case of digital fraud?

  • Government agencies, banks and other financial institution never ask for financial information via SMS. In the case of a UPI fraud, report it to the bank and get the wallet blocked to prevent further losses. You can even report the incident to the police or the cyber-crime department.
  • You should download only those apps which are authentic and verified by Google Play Store or Apple Store.
  • Never ignore the spam warning you get on your phone through the digital payments app.