Paytm is one of the most popular platforms for the users of Digital payments. The popularity has only grown after the demonetization of legal tenders in Nov 2016. With limited resources at hand people were forced to use digital methods of payment and Paytm was offering them with both hands. Today, Paytm offers an easy way to pay bills, buy movie/train/airplane tickets as well as to make payments to friends and merchants.
But as the method of digital payments grew popular so did the scams related to it. Paytm founder, Vijay Shekhar Sharma took to twitter to warn users about the scams.
There have been a few notable scams in recent years that you should be aware of. These scams have cost victims lakhs of rupees and many have happened simply out of the victim being unaware of the tactics employed by the fraudsters. Here’s a look at some of the ways scammers can steal your money on Paytm and also methods on how to stay safe.
Paytm KYC scam
KYC means “Know Your Customer”. It is a process by which banks obtain information about the identity and address of the customers. This process helps to ensure that banks’ services are not misused.
KYC scam is one of the most popular scams.
Modus operandi: The customer is targeted at random through a cold call or SMS/Email. He is first informed that your KYC is incomplete and need to be updated otherwise your Paytm account will be blocked with immediate action. This bit of information is enough for most victims to get panicked and immediately handover the control to the scammer. Once they feel the victim has submitted they start their process of giving them commands such as install remote access softwares like TeamViewer, Anydesk, GoToAssist etc.
Read here Remote access frauds
These are remote access sharing apps that allow another person to view your phone’s screen. Unaware of this, the victim downloads the app and allows the fraudster to see everything on their phone. They then ask the victim to log out and log-in again so that they can see the credentials such as log-in and password. They can see the keystrokes through the remote access app. Once the log-in is complete, they will ask you to add money into your e-wallet using netbanking, Debit Card etc, this reveals the victim’s debit card PIN or netbanking password.
Then the scammer asks the victim to transfer Re 1 to validate the completion of KYC process. Doing this, the scammer can see your Paytm PIN that you use to do a transaction. Within minutes he’ll proceed to empty the account by entering big amounts upto lakhs at a time, he’ll do multiple transactions until your account is empty.
How to stay safe :
The best ways to keep yourself safe from the KYC scam is to follow these simple steps:
- Never believe a person if he’s saying he’s a representative of Paytm and here to update your KYC on telephone or via e-mail. Paytm KYC can only be updated/conducted at official KYC points mentioned in the Paytm app.
- Moreover Paytm KYC requires your fingerprint to be matched with UIDAI database and this can only be done at an official KYC point mentioned in the app.
- Another way to update/conduct your Paytm KYC is to book an official visit of a Paytm representative to your home, and this can only be done via the Paytm app, and the representative will give you a call to confirm your availability at your home.
- Another important thing to note is that Paytm KYC is done for FREE. You don’t need to pay any amount to get it completed.
Request money scam
Paytm has its own wallet, but it also operates as a UPI app to let users transfer money directly from their bank account. Collect request is a feature provided in your Paytm app where you can request someone to pay you a certain amount through UPI. Once the collect request is raised by you, the receiver of the request would go to “My Payment Requests” to approve your request by entering their UPI PIN. Once approved, the amount is credited to your account.
Similarly, someone can request money from you. You can pay them by approving their collect request.
How does request money fraud work?
- Fraudsters pose as sellers on sites like OLX, Quikr, and Telegram etc. They build their credibility by posing as Army Officials, CISF. Then they ask buyers to pay in advance using the collect request. Buyer unaware of the intentions of the seller makes the mistake of approving such collect requests.
- Disguising collect requests as receive money request, By using the names and logos of genuine websites and attaching a message like “Approve the request to receive money”, fraudsters dupe people into paying them.
This scam is highly effective on people who are unaware that receiving money does not require any OTP or UPI PIN. The buyer only needs your phone number to transfer money to your account. If you are asked to provide an OTP, it means the buyer is asking you to give them money.