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Beware of Impersonators: Fraudsters Exploit Traders with Loan and Cashback Scams



Paytm Phishing Scam: Traders in Bengaluru Lose Thousands to Deceptive Loan and Cashback Offers

Bengaluru’s bustling commercial scene has become a hunting ground for a new breed of con artists – imposters pose as employees of UPI payment companies like Paytm to swindle unsuspecting traders and street vendors with lucrative loan and cashback offers. These cunning criminals are not only leaving victims financially drained but also shaking trust in the growing digital payment ecosystem.

One recent victim, Suresh M, owner of Manjunath Condiments in Hosapalya, fell prey to a smooth-talking fraudster who promised a hefty Rs 150 cashback for every Rs 2,500 transaction on his Paytm app. Lured by the seemingly too-good-to-be-true offer, Suresh made the initial payment of Re 1 three times, hoping to activate the cashback scheme. However, little did he know that the conman was slyly observing his PIN entries with each transaction.

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“The miscreant took the phone from me on the pretext of activating the cashback offer and returned it,” Suresh told media. “He said it would get activated in a couple of hours and left. After some time, I noticed there was no internet connection on my phone. I took the phone to a nearby mobile service centre. The shopkeeper told me that mobile data had been turned off. Soon after I turned on the mobile data, I received a message that Rs 95,000 had been debited from my account. It was only then I realised that the miscreant had made me pay Re 1 thrice to observe my PIN and had siphoned off money.”

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Suresh’s story is not an isolated incident. Just days ago, another Bangalore-based street vendor, Shivamma, was conned into applying for an instant loan of Rs 80,000 by a fake Paytm representative. The perpetrator, posing as a helpful loan facilitator, slyly took Shivamma’s phone and used it to approve the loan, transferring the funds directly to his own account.

These incidents highlight the increasing sophistication of digital payment scams and the urgent need for traders and vendors to exercise caution. The police are now on the lookout for the culprits, with a case registered under the Information Technology Act and IPC section 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property).

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Here are some red flags to watch out for to avoid falling victim to similar scams:

  • Never share your PIN or OTP with anyone, even if they claim to be from Paytm or any other official source.
  • Be wary of unsolicited offers, especially those promising high cashbacks or instant loans.
  • Do not let anyone handle your phone, especially when it comes to financial transactions.
  • Always verify the sender’s details before authorizing any transaction.
  • Report any suspicious activity to the authorities immediately.

By staying vigilant and informed, traders and vendors can protect themselves from these cunning scammers and ensure the safe and secure use of digital payment platforms.

Additional tips:

  • Paytm will never ask you to download any third-party app or share sensitive information over the phone.
  • You can always verify the authenticity of a Paytm representative by calling the company’s official customer care number.
  • Be aware of the latest scam tactics and educate others about them.

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