As the government continue towards becoming a completely digital economy by introducing new technologies on a daily basis, it also gives rise to new scams on a daily basis. This time it is FASTag, a recently introduced technology for vehicles that is used to pay toll tax at the toll plazas all over the country.
What is FASTag?
FASTag is an electronic toll collection system in India, operated by the National Highway Authority of India(NHAI). It is used to collect toll tax of the vehicle that passes through a toll automatically without having to the vehicle at the toll. The money is automatically deducted from the users’ account. It employs Radio Frequency Identification(RFID) technology for making toll payments directly from the prepaid or savings account linked to it to directly toll owner. It is affixed on the windscreen of the vehicle and enables them to drive through toll plazas without stopping for transactions.
As with every new technology, it has a wide scope of getting misused and abused as very less people know about it and people with less information about the technology are at a higher risk of getting scammed by the scammers.
Modus operandi of the scam
As all the tags need to be purchased through the official tag issuers or participating banks, this opens up an opportunity for the scammers to come in between the issuer and the receiver. The mode of operation of the scam is quite simple, the scammers act as the issuer and contact the victim and sell them fake FASTags that look exactly like the original. They seem to be real to the naked eye but are not and hence some diligence at the end of citizens can be instrumental.
Another case of FASTag fraud is not that simple. The case popped up in Bengaluru where the victim lost 50,000 rupees in the mentioned scam. He informed that the scamsters are trying to siphon money from the bank account of people through UPI on the pretext of helping people to register and get their FASTag working. They get a fake call from the customer service of one of the participating banks that issue FASTags and send them an online form to fill in to get their FASTag.
The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) has issued a warning about the fake FASTags fraud.
How to avoid FASTag fraud!
The NHAI has warned that these FASTags look real but they are not. NHAI has also advised that to avoid such situations,
- The public should only purchase original FASTag for which people need either visit ihmcl.co.in or use MyFastag App.
- FASTag can also be bought from the listed banks and authorized point of sale agents. Information about FASTag is also available on the IHMCL website.
- People can register a complaint against fake FASTag by giving a call on the NHAI helpline number – 1033.
- In any case, never reveal your ATM Pin/UPI Pin and your card details to anyone. Never open links provided in any unknown message by an unknown sender.
- The registration of FASTag does not require you to submit any password or online banking details at all.
The government has made FASTag compulsory across the country from 15 February. Any vehicle not fitted with FASTag will have to pay twice the fee for the category of the vehicle they are driving at electronic toll plazas across India. The government has clarified that this has been done to further promote fee payment through digital mode, reduce waiting time and fuel consumption, and provide for a seamless passage through the fee plazas.
Charges for FASTag
FASTag, simple to use, reloadable tag, which enables automatic deduction of toll plaza charges and lets you pass through without stopping for any cash transaction, has a one-time fee of ₹200, a Reissuance fee of ₹100, and a refundable security deposit of ₹200.
Stay Satark. Stay Vigilant.