Digital banking has brought convenience to users, saving them the time to visit a bank or an ATM. The launch of Unified Payment Interface (UPI) National Payments Corporation of India has given a reliable platform for banks and mobile wallets to enable inter-bank transactions in real-time. But it's not without risks.

The dangers of the internet are commonly known, but they are worth the risk as being online is a norm these days. Everything from banking to communicating and storing personal files is done online without breaking a sweat, but practising no caution can have serious consequences. If you're an online banking customer, the dangers are real for those who do not exercise caution. Even slightest negligence could empty your bank account.

With the rise of UPI, banks like ICICI Bank, SBI, HDFC as well as mobile wallets like Google Pay, PayTM and PhonePe have benefitted immensely. In October, UPI hit one billion transactions and it recently crossed 100 million users. UPI makes digital payments easy, but it is also risky if users are not taught how to prevent online frauds.

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Making digital payments comes with risksPixabay

UPI fraud awareness is usually carried out by banks and companies behind successful mobile wallets to make sure online transactions are carried out safely. But there's no way of being 100 percent sure that you won't fall into the honey trap laid out by fraudsters.

In this article, you'll be going through some important signs of UPI fraud, which should help prevent them in the future.

How does UPI fraud work?

The fraudster calls you in the context of an online product purchase, cashback or refund on an online transaction, KYC check, online lottery, previous unsuccessful transaction, asking help through online networking.

Fraudsters ask to click on unknown links, accept collect request received over text messages and ask to enter UPI MPIN

Fraudsters send QR code over WhatsApp, ask you to scan it using UPI application and enter MPIN

Fraudsters ask to forward text messages, share UPI registration OTP, etc. over the phone

Fraudsters lure customers to download desktop sharing app such as anydesk, teamviewer from corresponding App Store and gain access to your mobile handset.

RAMpage vulnerability attacks android devices
UPI fraudCreative Commons

How to prevent UPI fraud?

Read carefully the SMS transaction alert delivered to your bank registered mobile number.

Avoid clicking on unknown links

Never forward any alphanumeric Activation SMSs received in your inbox (e.g. FPL REG w*QPi*5cAH6x5OA30F3yD344k*HpViT*2*NW)

Do not share your OTP, Credit/Debit Card numbers, CVV, Grid values, PIN, User ID, Password with anyone, even if the person claims to be from bank. The bank never asks such information.

With these things in mind, exercise caution and keep your hard-earned money safe.