Cyber-fraudsters have started a new criminal trend of posing as executives of e-wallet company Paytm, to scam users of their money. Mumbai Police have received several Paytm e-wallet fraud complaints since last year and have traced a number of these scamsters to Jharkhand.
According to the police, fraudsters send messages purported to be from Paytm, informing users that their e-wallet accounts will be suspended as their KYC (know your customer) details have not been updated. The fraudsters then call the users and trick them into sharing their e-wallet details, which they use to withdraw money from their accounts.
A cyber officer from Mumbai Police, said, “This cybercrime is trending since the past year. We have analysed 40 such numbers and the calls are coming from Jamtara in Jharkhand, which is a hub for such crimes. There are two to three more places in north Indian states from where these calls are being made.”
The officer mentioned that all these numbers used for scams belong to a single telecom service provider, which indicates that KYC is not done properly by the provider. “Further, they [fraudsters] pay other people a commission and use their bank accounts to deposit the money. They then withdraw money within an hour, making the recovery process more difficult,” the officer said.
The Maharashtra cyber police have also been receiving several complaints against these types of frauds.
Dr Balsing Rajput, superintendent of Maharashtra cyber department, said, “We will soon be issuing an advisory to Paytm, informing the company that its platform’s name is being misused. The firm will be directed to take appropriate measures to spread awareness among customers.”
A 51-year-old man from Malad, working as a team developer in a multinational bank, fell prey to one of these frauds on December 21. According to Kurar police, the victim received an SMS stating that his “PYTM KYC has expired today, immediately call customer care”. The message included the fraudster’s phone number.
The complainant called the fraudster, who made him install the Quick Support application, which is used to gain remote access to a person’s mobile phone. The fraudster then asked the complainant to open his Paytm app and pay ₹1.
The complainant did as instructed but later received a message from his bank informing him that ₹2.43 lakh had been withdrawn. The complainant immediately called Paytm and managed to recover ₹50,000.
In another case at Borivli police station, on December 23, a 63-year-old retired Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEB) official was duped of ₹2 lakh through the same modus operandi. In both cases first information reports have been registered.
Paytm warns against remote access apps
Paytm Payments Bank spokesperson said, “With regards to KYC frauds, we are seeing that the customers are being tricked by the fraudsters to share their secured information. Paytm KYC does not happen via remote desktops apps. Paytm does not call customers to do KYC via phone or asks its users to install any new app to complete KYC.”