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How Scammers Are Using Google Pay and Phones to Con People; 81 Users Lose ₹1 Crore!

How Scammers are Using Google Pay and Phones to Con People; 81 Users Lose ₹1 Crore!

Amidst the growing trend of online banking, scammers have found new ways to con innocent people. A lot of people in Mumbai are worried after hearing that in just 16 days, fraudsters stole one crore from their bank accounts using the Know Your Customer (KYC) and Personal Identification Number (PAN) scams.

However, a new kind of online bank fraud has emerged where fraudsters send money to your account using Google Pay or PhonePe, only to ask you to repay the money as it was mistakenly sent. In this article, we will discuss this new trend of online fraud targeting Google Pay and PhonePe users.

You might make a kind gesture by instantly returning the ten or fifty rupees to the caller’s Google Pay or PhonePe number, but this would make you vulnerable to a malware attack.

Scammers

How the Scam Works

In this type of scam, a fraudster knowingly sends money to your bank account using Google Pay or PhonePe gateway. The fraudster will call you after the funds have been transferred to your account and claim that the transfer was a mistake. They will then request that you repay the amount to their Google Pay or PhonePe number.

As an honest individual, you may immediately repay the small amount of Rs. 10 or Rs. 50 without thinking twice. However, this is where the trap is set. Once you repay the amount, your account will be hacked, and your personal and banking data will be compromised.

Such online scams are carried out with customers of Google Pay and PhonePe in mind. A cybercrime specialist from Delhi named Pavan Duggal said, “In this malware-and-human-engineering scam, someone sends money to your account on purpose using the Google Pay or PhonePe gateway.

They then call you, pretending that the money was sent into your account by error, and ask you to send it back to their phone number. If you return the funds, your account will be compromised.”

The Modus Operandi

Scammers

According to Pavan Duggal, a Delhi-based cybercrime expert, scammers use a mix of malware and human engineering to execute this type of phishing scam. They use a malware program that can access your banking and other KYC documents like PAN and Aadhaar, and once you repay the small amount, all your data becomes available to them.

The fraudsters then use this information to hack into your bank account and steal all your money. In some cases, they may also use your identity to conduct further fraudulent activities.

According to Pavan Duggal, who explained the methodology behind this phishing, “When a Google Pay or PhonePe user repays the money, their entire data—including banking and other KYC documents like PAN, Aadhaar, etc.—become available to the fraudster, and these documents are enough to hack anyone’s bank account.

Warning for users using Google Pay and PhonePe

The President of Cyberlaw.com, Pavan Duggal, continued, “As I mentioned before, this is a combination of malware phishing and human engineering; therefore users of Google Pay and PhonePe won’t be protected from this online fraud by antivirus software.

Therefore, the best course of action for users of Google Pay or PhonePe is to simply respond to such calls by saying that they are asking their bank to investigate the situation because money has been accidentally deposited into their account.”

Duggal advised users of Google Pay and PhonePe to urge the caller to come to the local police station and pick up their money rather than returning it to the sender.

According to Pawan Duggal, a transaction using PhonePe or Google Pay is flawless. Yet, you start a personal conversation with the fraudster when you send them a screenshot of the repayment. They may now retrieve your KYC information, thanks to this. So, it is best to avoid entertaining such strangers.

How to protect yourself?

Scammers

  • It is crucial to stay vigilant while using online payment gateways like Google Pay and PhonePe. Here are some ways to avoid falling victim to this new con:
  • Never share your personal or financial information with anyone, especially if you receive a call from an unknown number.
  • Be suspicious of unsolicited calls from representatives of Google Pay or PhonePe, especially if they ask you to download any software or app.
  • Always verify the authenticity of the caller by checking the caller ID and confirming their identity with the customer care team of the payment gateway.
  • Do not initiate any transaction or download any app or software without verifying the authenticity of the caller.
  • Use reputable antivirus software on your phone to protect it from malware and other security threats.
  • Always keep your phone’s software and apps up-to-date to ensure that they are protected from the latest security threats.
  • Finally, if you suspect that you have fallen victim to this scam, report it to the customer care team of the payment gateway immediately.

Conclusion

With the rise of digital banking and online transactions, fraudsters have found new ways to con innocent people. In the case of Google Pay and PhonePe, scammers use a mix of malware and human engineering to trick individuals into repaying small amounts, which results in the theft of personal and banking data.

It is essential to remain vigilant and take necessary precautions to avoid becoming a victim of such scams. By being aware of such frauds, we can collectively fight against cybercrime and make online transactions safer for everyone.

Edited by Prakriti Arora

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