The United Payments Interface, or UPI, enables you to easily send money and receive it. Several apps are available to carry out UPI-based transactions and transfer money. You can use Paytm, Google Pay, BHIM, and many more apps of this type. With UPI, you can connect many bank accounts in one mobile application.

Despite its simplicity and ease of use, UPI has its downsides. The use of UPI apps has led to many cases of people losing their hard-earned money. Therefore, UPI should be used with caution. The cost of a single mistake can be high. Throughout this blog, we will discuss various ways of protecting yourself from fraud related to UPI apps.

The 39k Olx fraud

Two cyber-fraudsters impersonating Army officials conned a 21-year-old BMS student into transferring Rs 39,000 when he tried to sell his bicycle on OLX, an online marketplace.

In the afternoon of August 30, the victim went to Navghar Police Station, Bhayandar (East), to file an FIR. A police report says he posted a notice on OLX on August 27 asking to sell his bike. He received a phone call the next day from someone claiming to be an Army official named Anil Kumar.

He offered to pay Rs 7,000 for the cycle, stating that he was interested in buying it. After asking the victim to send him his address, the fraudster promised to send someone to pick up the bicycle. In addition, he mentioned that the online payment would be made with an Army card, and his senior would call the student to complete the payment.

The second fraudster then claimed to be a senior Army official and offered to pay through an electronic wallet. In exchange for the victim sending Rs 2 through UPI, he offered to immediately send Rs 4 through Paytm e-wallet. Within minutes, the victim got Rs 4 in exchange for Rs 2.

The fraudster gained the victim's trust by asking him to send 7,000 rupees, and in exchange, he would receive 14,000 rupees. Despite sending Rs 7,000, the victim has not received the money back. Assuring him that he would get his money back, the fraudster said there was a technical problem and kept asking him to send more money.

Fraudsters asked for more money after the victim sent an initial amount of Rs 39,000. He then became aware of his own wrongdoing and approached the local police.

Tips to prevent fraud:

1. The first thing you should do if you receive a message asking for money is to check the number. In the event that one of your friends or acquaintances suddenly has a new number and asks you for money, you should be suspicious at the very least.

2. There are a lot of 'phishing' incidents taking place on WhatsApp. Any link that appears to be malicious should not be clicked on.

3. Your One Time Password (OTP), UPI pin, and other secret information should not be shared on WhatsApp. Never provide banking information if anyone asks you to and always contact your bank. There is a possibility of fraud here.

4.  It is recommended that digital escrow platforms be used for payment. When making an online payment with Escrow, you do not share your financial information with anyone. 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.

In what ways does Digital Escrow prevent online fraud in India? 

The Vouch Digital Escrow service ensures a smooth transfer of products and payments while enhancing trust between buyers and sellers. Customers will feel confident that they will be fairly compensated quickly, and that their order will be delivered as expected and on time. If you ever encounter a fraudster who asks you to scan a QR code or ask to get an OTP code or ask you to click on phishing links, you can simply decline and request that the transaction be completed through Vouch. 

For all businesses in India, Vouch Digital Escrow utilizes a non-interest-bearing escrow account, and at every step of the process, you are kept informed. You can always count on Vouch's professionals during all steps of the transaction process to answer all your questions. Since all payments, shipping, delivery, and execution are carried out under the honest and watchful eyes of Vouch's professionals, there is no scope for deceit or fraud. Vouch makes business transactions transparent, straightforward, and convenient.

This is Fraud Story #97. Check back here for more fraud stories and scams that you can protect yourself from.

Escrow payment

Safety is not just about protecting your credit or debit card number. 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. Do you have a fraud you would like to report? Please write to us at