Frauds to watch out for if you shop online

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We hear about many types of fraud that use new technologies to trick customers. To raise public awareness, the Reserve Bank has published a pamphlet called “BE(A)WARE” which details the common methods employed by fraudsters and the steps to be taken when carrying out various financial transactions.

According to RBI data, Indian lenders reported a total of 4,071 fraud cases between April and September 2021, with a total value of Rs 36,342 crore involved. Thus, the RBI is taking all measures to sensitize the customers.

One of the latest ways fraudsters trick customers is through online sales platforms. Let’s see how it works and the precautions to take when buying and selling online.

On online sales platforms, fraudsters pose as buyers and show interest in the seller’s product(s). Also, to gain trust, many fraudsters pose as defense personnel stationed in remote areas.

Instead of paying the seller, these scammers use the “request money” option of the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) application and require the seller to authorize the request by entering the UPI PIN. The money is transferred to the fraudster’s account once the seller enters the PIN code.

Precautions

According to the RBI booklet, these are the precautions to take.

Always be careful when buying or selling products through online sales platforms.

Always remember that there is no need to enter any PIN/password to receive money.

If UPI or any other app asks you to enter a PIN to complete a transaction, it means you will be sending money instead of receiving it.

It is important to maintain the confidentiality of personal information at all times, by being wary of unknown calls, emails or text messages and by describing the due diligence procedures to be followed during financial transactions.

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