In the world of fraud, it seems like new methods are constantly being developed to scam people and make quick money. There have been several cases in which people lost money due to fraudsters' trickery.  It is common for fraudsters to target victims with random numbers, telling them that they must either update their Know Your Customer information or they will be disconnected from the network.

In Mumbai, a GST Superintendent was duped out of Rs 1.91 lakh through KYC fraud

A fraudster posing as a bank employee duped the superintendent of Mumbai's Goods and Services Tax (GST) department out of Rs. 1.91 lakh on Sunday.

He was duped by the fraudster by asking him to update the Know-Your-Customer information of his bank account.

A 50-year-old man named Srikumar Prasad was asked to download a quick support mobile application and fill out his credit and debit card information, resulting in a loss of Rs 1.91 lakh in a series of seven fraudulent transactions.

Prasad resides in the CGS colony in the Antop Hill area along with his wife and two children. He received a message on Sunday at about 9:30 am from an unknown number stating that his bank account had not been updated with his KYC. 

He was informed that his debit and credit cards would not work unless he updated his KYC information.

As part of the KYC verification process, he was also prompted to call or send a text message to the given number. Prasad called the number as instructed, but there was no answer.

Afterward, at around 3:30 pm, someone claiming to be a bank employee called Prasad to help him update his KYC. He told prasad that he was busy with office work in the morning and couldn't answer his call.

He explained the KYC update procedure and asked Prasad to download the quick support application from the Google Play store and enter his credit card information. Prasad downloaded the app and entered all of the details.

A short while later, he received a one-time password (OTP) on his mobile phone that he shared with the fraudster, who subsequently stole Rs. 1.91 lakh from his bank account. Prasad received an alert from his bank regarding fraudulent transactions.

In the end, he blocked his bank account and filed a complaint with the Antop Hill police station where a case for cheating was registered under the relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Information Technology Act, 2000.

Also Check: Fraud Story #181- Vishing Scam: How to avoid it?

How to avoid this fraud -

1. Do not divulge your personal information to anyone over the phone. In no case will a bank or a reputed company ask for your personal information like your card number, CVV, or OTP over the phone.

2. You shouldn't let a stranger guide you through the mobile app installation process. If he requests to modify your mobile settings, it might be a scam.

3. The use of digital escrow platforms for payments is recommended. When you make an online payment with Escrow, no financial information is shared. There is a platform for escrow called Vouch.

How does digital escrow work?

In digital escrow, a third-party account holds the money deposited by the buyer until the seller fulfills the terms of the contract. The escrow company supervises the transacting parties.

What is the role of Digital Escrow in preventing online fraud in India? 

Digital escrow services are offered by many companies in India. Among the most trusted is Vouch.

Vouch’s Digital Escrow service is a transparent way for buyers and sellers to build trust and secure a clean transfer of product and payment. Sellers can feel assured that they will be fairly compensated promptly, and buyers will feel confident that their order will be delivered as expected and on schedule. Vouch Digital Escrow keeps you updated and informed at every step of the transaction process till the end. Vouch’s professionals are always available to assist you with all queries that you may have during the entire transaction process. 

There is no scope for deceit or fraud since the payments, shipping, delivery, and execution are carried out under the honest and watchful eyes of the Vouch’s professionals. With Vouch, any business transaction becomes transparent, uncomplicated, and hassle-free. If you ever come across a fraudster asking for OTP, asking you to scan a QR code, or asking you to click on phishing links, you can simply refuse and ask him/her to proceed with the transaction through Vouch.

This is Fraud Story #209. Check back here for more fraud stories and scams that you can protect yourself from.

Safety is not just about protecting your credit, debit card number, and UPI accounts. It's about having control of your money till you've received the product or service you bought online!

Note: This is a good-faith initiative to educate the world about avoiding frauds like these and how to act when you're becoming a victim of such a situation. 

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