The Delhi CM’s daughter is not alone. There have been several such cases reported in the recent past, especially after the pandemic struck.
Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma took to Twitter on Tuesday to spread a word of caution to his 416.7K followers while receiving unsolicited messages asking for their QR codes to be scanned. Urging them to be careful, he also wrote that the messaging platform, WhatsApp, had become a tool for such fraudsters.
“If somebody asks you to scan the QR code sent in WhatsApp to receive money, it is a fraud call. Do not believe,” he warned.
Stay Alert – If somebody asks you to scan the QR code sent in WhatsApp to receive money, it is a fraud call. Do not… https://t.co/mdhg9LcoeA
— Vijay Shekhar Sharma (@vijayshekhar) 1613490563000
The 42-year-old entrepreneur also shared a link to the Paytm Bank blog with additional details about the QR code frauds. Incidentally, Sharma’s Paytm competes with WhatsApp, which recently got the Government’s nod to restart its UPI payments rollout in the country.
How does the scam work?
The fraudsters look for easy victims on e-commerce and digital classified platforms. Claiming to check the ‘correct account details’, they first transfer a minimal amount into the victim’s account.
Subsequently, a QR code is sent to the seller, asking him/her to scan it. The moment this code is scanned, a large chunk of amount gets deducted from their bank account. When the hassled seller tries to enquire about this with the buyer, s/he claims a wrong QR code was sent by mistake, and a new code is sent. When the new code is scanned, another chunk gets deducted from the victim’s account.
Tips to keep yourself safe from these frauds:
• You don’t require pin for receiving money in your account. Fraudsters try to confuse the user by sending QR code
• Scan the QR code only if you know where it has originated from
• Never approve collect requests from unknown beneficiaries
• Never scan a random code just out of curiosity
• Avoid using Public QR codes as cyber criminals swap them to make money flow into their account
• If you scan a code that asks for personal information such as name, login credentials, address, etc., don’t key in the information
Incidentally, this is not the first time that the Paytm founder has aired his grievance against WhatsApp publicly. Last month, he joined a list of leaders urging people to move away from WhatsApp. Following in Tesla founder Elon Musk’s footsteps, the techpreneur in a January 11 tweet had accused WhatsApp and Facebook of abusing monopoly and taking their users’ privacy for granted. In his tweet, Sharma said that “we should move on to Signal now”.
They say, market has power. We are the largest market. Here in India WhatsApp / Facebook are abusing their monopol… https://t.co/99QsznJQJ8
— Vijay Shekhar Sharma (@vijayshekhar) 1610343655000