Don't fall prey to online scams on Paytm, WhatsApp and other popular apps

Written By: Ankit Tuteja WION
New Delhi Published: Oct 23, 2020, 04:09 PM(IST)

Protect yourself from online scam Photograph:( WION )

Story highlights

These tips will help you stay vigilant and keep your money safe

If you don't exercise caution, you can easily lose your hard-earned money to scammers. Don't we read about people falling into the trap of fraudsters online almost every day? So, I will be talking to you about the most prevalent online frauds in India so that you can safeguard your money without compromising on any online experience. These tips will help you stay vigilant and keep your money safe.

Sadly, many scammers are targetting services and apps that you use the most such as WhatsApp, Paytm and Facebook. Let’s go over each of these, one by one.

Beware of KYC scam on Paytm

All of us use digital payment services to make online payments, and Paytm is among the most popular apps. However, miscreants are using a KYC scam to dupe Paytm users. Here is a word of caution. If you receive a message asking you to update your KYC, don’t react immediately. There is a strong possibility that these could be fraudsters attempting to get your details and defraud you of your money.

And, in case, you get a call and are asked to download any app such as QuickSupport or AnyDesk to complete or renew your KYC, do not do so. These apps could be used by fraudsters to take over your phone screen and Paytm account to steal your money. Also, don’t get tricked by other dubious messages that claim to offer you cashbacks and rewards.


It’s not just about Paytm, be careful even while using other digital payment services such as Google Pay or PhonePe. Also, never share your credit or debit card details, card CVV number, UPI pin, or OTP with anyone or on any website shared with you on SMS.

Facebook fraudsters

Frauds are also happening on Facebook. What is the modus operandi? A miscreant first clones a profile of someone you may know, a friend or a family member. He or she then approaches you, using that fake profile on Messenger. It starts with greetings and then money is demanded on some pretext or the other. While some see it as a red flag and exercise good judgement, others fall prey to this tactic.

If you happen to come across any such situation, call the person in question and cross check before transferring any money. Other best practices that you can adopt is keep your friends list private and share photos only with friends. This will prevent fraudsters from impersonating accounts.

QR code scams on OLX

Fraudsters are actually trying to exploit all possible platforms. Online marketplace OLX is another place for criminals to cheat people. Cyber criminals usually pose as armed forces or paramilitary personnel to dupe people, who are looking to buy or sell items on OLX. Portraying themselves as a soldier in uniform helps them look more credible and makes it easier to earn trust.

They usually show interest in the listed products and ask you to scan a QR code so that they can send you advance or a token amount. Do not scan such codes. You will not receive any money, instead money from your account would be debited. So, be careful and don’t become a victim of QR code scams.

WhatsApp scams on the rise

When it comes to scams, even WhatsApp isn’t safe. Recently, the State Bank of India warned its customers of frauds on WhatsApp. Bank customers were found to be informed about winning a lottery and asked to contact an SBI number. It was a fake message that was being circulated. I advise that please refrain from reacting to such phoney messages. This is just one example of WhatsApp frauds. I am sure you may have heard of other similar WhatsApp scams.

Be careful online, especially when it involves money. No platform is foolproof, so cross check when someone asks for money. Verify the credentials of the person. And never share your card details, UPI pin or OTP password with anyone. Stay safe and stay smart.

Read in App