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People in India are going digital, with people purchasing and ordering food online, using online payment for such transactions, and much more. The value of Unified Payment Interface (UPI) transactions reached a new high of Rs.14.07 lakh crores in March 2023. The transaction volume was 18% more than in February 2023 (728 crores).
As the number of UPI transactions increases, so do cases of online fraud and scams. According to the Union Ministry of Finance, over 95,000 spam cases involving UPI transactions were recorded in 2022-23, an increase from 84,000 incidences in 2021-22.
How to avoid falling for UPI fraud?
People should be aware that UPI payments are secure. Only when a scammer or spammer obtains your UPI PIN or one-time password (OTP), or when you click on a malware link, are you vulnerable to fraud.
Never reveal your UPI PIN: Your UPI PIN is the number you input when you make a transaction or add a new payment account. This number should not be shared with anybody, especially strangers. Remember that customer service representatives or banks would never call you to share this information or OTPs.
Update your UPI PIN on a regular basis: Just like your email or social media account passwords, you should update your UPI PIN on a regular basis to avoid being cheated.
Do not use public Wi-Fi for UPI payments: It is preferable to utilise your own mobile internet or a Wi-Fi connection at your location when making a UPI payment. You should avoid completing online financial transactions, including UPI payments, over public Wi-Fi since scammers and spammers will have easy access to your sensitive information.
Be skeptical: It is always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to unfamiliar emails or links. Fraudsters, as stated by Gadgets Now, deliver malware or malicious attachments in emails or URLs sent via SMS or messaging apps. These viruses or malware can compromise your phone and provide spammers with easy access to your banking information or other personal information. So, if someone claims to have paid you money by mistake and then sends you a questionable link to return it, always verify their identification.
You may defend yourself from falling for such scam, spam or counterfeit viruses by keeping an open mind and a suspicious attitude.