Fraudsters have hit a Mumbai-based investment banking analyst who lost Rs 87,000 while buying three beers online via a Unified Payments Interface (UPI)-based digital payments platform. According to media reports, Radhika Parekh dialled a contact number listed for Star Wine shop which she found during a Google search for alcohol stores in Powai.
She was requested by the store staff over the phone to make the payment of Rs 420 on Google Pay and asked her to share her UPI ID. Once Parekh shared her ID, she received a payment request on Google Pay and the moment she accepted the request, Rs 29,001 were debited from her account. When she called the wine shop and inquired, the staff apologised and said that amount was debited owing to a mistake.
After she disconnected the call, another transaction of Rs 58,000 was made from her account. According to police, when Parekh reached the alcohol store to inquire about the transactions, the owner told her that the number she had called did not belong to them. The police have registered the case under sections of cheating of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Information and Technology (IT) Act.
Earlier in May, Anil Padam Singh, 23, a resident of Sakinaka in Mumbai, lost Rs 1 lakh from his digital wallet account, when he called a finance firm regarding the EMIs on his new mobile phone. To keep the transactions extra-secure, Google Pay now sends app notifications as well as SMSes to inform users each time they receive a collect request to highlight that approving the request will deduct money from their bank accounts.
With increased online payments it is important to know how to protect UPI transactions from cyber fraud. For a safe transaction, always call the legal and official numbers of call centres in case there is an issue in the transactions carried out through an app or bank accounts. Also, put up a password on every account, every app that contains such sensitive information.