Online Payment Fraud: How To Protect Yourself While Using E-Wallets & UPI Apps


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India has seen a massive surge in its online transactions space. An increasing number of Indian consumers now use e-wallets and UPI apps due to their convenience and speed. However, the number and intensity of UPI frauds have also heaved recently. Although most e-commerce websites have a secure payment gateway India, cybercriminals continuously find new ways to rob people of their hard-earned money while using digital wallets and UPI apps. 

Surprisingly, the victims of fraud are not only from rural areas, but intelligent, educated, and informed consumers also fall into their trap. So, here are a few ways to stay protected while using e-wallets and UPI apps.

Don’t Interact with Strangers

The best way to stay safe from UPI fraud is to avoid interacting with strangers through any means. Not talking to strangers on messages or phone calls is likely to reduce the chance of being cheated. Banks always ask their customers not to disclose their identity, OTP, and UPI PIN to anyone. Also, never pay heed to any fake messages or emails asking for confidential details. Such messages may also contain links that drag a person into a hacker’s tricks. So, the customers must carefully examine each message and email from the bank, as they might be fake and cause fraud.

Never Share OTP

OTP is part of a two-factor authentication system to keep transactions protected. Even if a hacker gets access to a customer’s username, password, CVV, UPI PIN, and other sensitive details, they cannot cheat. When they try to transact using the stolen details, the customer gets an OTP on their registered phone number, which they must enter to start online payment processing. So, the hackers find ways to steal this OTP too. 

Hackers know that asking for the OTP over the phone often does not work. So, they try to clone the customer’s phone by asking them to click on a link or download an app. An e-wallet or UPI app user should never do what strangers ask them to do, especially if they pose to offer some free gifts or rewards. 

Avoid Clicking on Unknown Links

Cybercriminals often use links to withdraw funds from people’s bank accounts. Some UPI apps like Google Pay, BHIM, and PhonePe have a facility to request payments from others, which scammers use extensively for fraudulent transactions. In such a situation, all the customer needs to do is click on a link to complete a transaction. Therefore, while using such apps, check each payment request link carefully, thoroughly consider the amount and recipient, and approve only after satisfaction.

Beware of Fake Apps

Although app stores constantly work to authenticate genuine apps and remove fake and duplicate ones, there are chances one may find one or the other. Differentiating between original and counterfeit apps is almost impossible most of the time. Therefore, before downloading a new app, verify its owner, developer, and registered website to ensure its authenticity. Some apps may seem like a bank’s app, but they’re not. In that case, one must ensure that they install only official apps on their phone from authentic sources.

Since cybercriminals take several steps to steal money from people’s bank accounts, it’s the e-commerce website’s moral responsibility to give a safe transaction platform to the customers. With a secure payment gateway in India, they can provide a safe transacting environment and guard against digital fraud.

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