The victim quoted, “he called my mother, posing to be an executive from the payment app and told her to update her KYC details to continue using her e-wallet.” Beyond which she was asked to share her bank account details and to just download 2 apps on her phone. The scammer then acquired remote access to the victim’s bank account and looted her off instantly.
This is just one out of the thousands of daily cases of various types of mobile related payment frauds being related in the country. The scammer community has found multiple advanced ways to siphoning money off people’s accounts and its not just the typical OTP fraud unfortunately. But however, the source always remains a mysterious phone call or an SMS.
Mumbai is the financial capital of India; Bangalore is the Silicon Valley and apparently Jamtara is now with no competition to be the “Fraud Capital” of India. Everyday, thousands of payment related scams being reported are traced to have been originated at Jamtara. This apparently is not a single-handed operation but a complex and well-coordinated operation maneuvered gangs in Jamtara and surrounding areas.
Jamtara’s population of fraudsters have made it to such an advanced level that the trail of frauds being made is untraceable at times because of their network of associates all over the country. Nowadays, they have made Hyderabad as their Scam capital and it is likely to change to any big city or small. Here are a few commonly used techniques they use; you need to be aware of:
a) Customer care fraud: this is probably the most common type, fraudsters have fake mobile details uploaded on websites which they use to call victims, posing to be customer care executives and ask them to upload vital information pertaining to bank accounts.
b) Vishing Calls: As the famous quote from ‘Jamtara’ says, “Sabka number ayega”, Scammers have a next level network of fake IDs and phone numbers which they use to call victims from around the world and extract vulnerable information.
c) KYC fraud: Now this is at a new level of scamming because it involves downloading a remote access application, the scammers pretend to be an execute from PhonePe, Paytm or other such payment apps and ask the victim to update their E-KYC details through another app which in disguise is a remote access application, after which they siphon out money from the victim’s bank account.
d) SIM Swapping: This surely is a favorite to many because of its amusing nature, the scammers walk the extra mile of hijacking the victim’s phone number to gain complete access to their bank accounts. The scammers pose to be mobile company executives and make the victims send SMS to the service provider to deactivate their numbers unknowingly and reactivate it again using their phone so they can gain access.
e) Google forms: Guess T-shirt sizes and zoom meeting registrations aren’t the only things we use google forms for. Scammers send bulk messages to people posing to be mobile companies or any other type of online subscription providers and the message would contain a google form with the implication to fill it up in order to avoid deactivation of their accounts or anything which would be of concern to the customer. Then the victim fills vulnerable details in the google form and there goes their safety.
What Can you do about it?
with the arrest rate being 10% and the damage recovery rate being 5% for such frauds, the extremely low rates suggest that the phrase “precaution is better than cure” is our quote of worship. A few simple tips include,
a) verifying with the official contact of the company about any payment related issues.
b) Knowing the fact that banks or payment apps would NEVER ask you to share any vital information at all including OTPs.
c) Never clicking on unknown google form links or similar sent in mysterious messages
d) Never to download any unknown applications suggested by such potential scammers, payment apps usually do not ask you to download any other application on your phone.
e) Always verifying phone numbers relating to calls made for such money-related issues.
You must verify such phone numbers and report them immediately so you protect your digital environment. https://checkfortrust.trustcheckr.com/ provides you with a platform to authenticate such phone numbers and anonymously report them too, so you are not at risk and you protect yourself and your loved ones too.