In a curious case of UPI fraud, a 21-year old BHIM user was robbed of Rs 40,000, after he called a fake call center.
Now, the interesting question: Who is responsible here for reimbursing the amount to the young user?
And how exactly did this robbery happen?
BHIM Fraud: What Exactly Happened?
Anil Chaturvedi, who is originally from Gujarat, has moved into Mumbai a few years back. Using BHIM App, he used to transfer money to his parents, and uncles.
So far so good.
However, a few days back, when he initiated a transfer of Rs 10,000 to his uncle using BHIM App, the transaction failed, but the money was debited from his bank account.
Perplexed, and baffled, he waited for few hours to let the money revert but nothing happened. And then, he started searching for BHIM Call Center, to register his complaint.
Unfortunately for him, he ended up calling a fake a call center.
BHIM Fraud: The Modus Operandi
A fraudster has created a fake website for BHIM call center, and have placed a number: XXXXX23614 in the website.
Now, confused BHIM users like Anil search for BHIM Call centers, they end up visiting this fake website with a fake number.
After Anil called this number, a person on the other end said that such cases are common, and there is nothing to worry.
The person, who wrongly acted like BHIM Call center representative, told Anil to accept few notifications which will come on his mobile.
And Anil did what he was told – As soon as he accepted those notifications, Rs 40,000 was siphoned off from this BHIM account.
He immediately registered a complaint at Versova Police Station in Mumbai.
Versova senior inspector R Badgujar said, “We have registered an FIR in the case. We should be able to arrest the fraudster soon.”
Is NPCI or BHIM Responsible Here?
The answer is a big no.
In 2017, MoneyLife had published a story, wherein they had investigated that in case of any fraudulent activity on the users’ account (like this case of Anil), NPCI is not responsible and the user cannot claim any liability.
NPCI or National Payments Corporation of India is the parent organization of BHIM and UPI, as they have created the app, and the digital payment mechanism.
This is what NPCI’s terms and conditions page stated in 2017:
“NPCI shall not be responsible for any electronic or mechanical defect, data failure or corruption, viruses, and bugs or related problems that may be attributable to User telecommunication equipment and/ or the Services provided by any Service Provider,”
However, this page has been deleted now.
We tried to investigate the terms and conditions of BHIM App and found that still, the same rule applies: BHIM Users who are victims of any fraud related with payment transfers cannot hold NPCI liable.
On the BHIM website, here are the terms and conditions which is still visible:
“The Payer shall not hold NPCI responsible for any damage, claim, and issue arising out or in connection with any purchase of goods/Services from Merchant(s) through Payment Orders initiated via BHIM App. Payer understands and agrees that all such claims, losses, damages, liabilities, and issues shall constitute a claim only against such Merchant(s) and not against NPCI.”
Now, the onus lies on the investigating officers from Versova police station, to crack this case, and do justice to Anil.
We will keep you updated, as we receive more updates.
(Here is the official contact information for BHIM Users, in case there is any failed transaction or any other issue related with the app usage: (Reach out to the BHIM Toll Free number 18001201740 or on the helpline number 022-45414740 for any queries or complaints on your BHIM transactions.)
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