What Is Request Money Fraud and How to Prevent It?
Modern time is the era of high digital advancement. Every sector is completely digitalised, from education to banking, as people have several advantages. However, there are frauds and hackers try to scam money from people by using digital technology as a means. In this article, you will learn about request money fraud and its ways of prevention.
What Is Collect-Call or Request Money?
Request money fraud is one of the newest scams that has already caused serious trouble in the present times. It is related to the ‘request money’ feature that is present in every online payment application. Through this feature, other people can request you to pay some amount, and you pay them back after verifying their credentials.
Once you confirm the request and ensure its trustworthiness, you can click the ‘pay’ button and proceed by entering your UPI PIN. If you find the source to be unknown, you should decline the request and block the requesting account.
How Do Request Money Frauds Work?
Check out the following discussion on how money requests scam works:
- Fraudsters pretend to be credible sellers on popular listing sites like OLX or Quikr.
- Fraudsters will react to your selling advertisements. You may also mistakenly respond to their disguised selling advertisements.
- Then they try to gain your trust by hiding their true identity and by taking the identity of people holding dignified or trustworthy positions like army personnel or representatives of payment applications.
- Following this, they try to convince you to respond to their money request sent via your PhonePe or Google Pay account.
- They may also tell you that the requested money is for activating the application, you may receive token amounts of appreciation for being the first few payees or that you may be refunded.
- Once you pay the money, you get scammed.
Sometimes fraudsters may use the logos of popular brands to gain people's trust easily. So it is not easy for common people to identify their scam, and before they can even fathom it, they become the victim of a phone money request scam.
What Are the Examples of Request Money Fraud?
Examples and scenarios of mobile request money scams are as follows:
1. Fraudsters May Scam Using Listing Sites Like OLX or Quikr
In popular listing sites like OLX and Quikr, people generally list the things they want to sell. So, fraudsters may respond to your listings and connect with you. They may then try to convince you that they cannot pay in person and will transfer money online. As discussed earlier, they will try to gain your trust by introducing themselves as dignified or trustworthy personnel.
Next, you will be asked to open the online payment app and respond to the ‘collect-money request’. As you do so, a pop-up option may appear on the screen, such as ‘once you pay, you will receive money.’ The whole thing may seem very convincing to you. However, once you pay, you do not get any money and get scammed.
2. Fraudsters Disguised as Representatives of Popular E-Commerce Applications
This is a second scenario where scammers will introduce themselves as the representatives of popular e-commerce sites such as Myntra or Flipkart. They will try to convince you by citing that you have won money and that you need to add that to your Flipkart or other e-commerce accounts.
Like the first scenario, the scammers will ask you to open your online application and pay through the ‘collect money’ option. As you pay, you eventually get scammed.
3. Fraudsters Disguised As the Representatives of Online Payment Applications
Sometimes scammers spread false helpline numbers all over social media platforms taking the identity of representatives of popular payment applications. So, customers mistakenly call them for any cashback or transaction-related issues. Hence, the scammers will send you the request money option, the same amount as your failed transaction.
In the process, scammers send a ‘collect money request’ and ask them to pay by entering their UPI PIN. Once customers do so, they lose their money, and their accounts become vulnerable to further threats.
4. Fraudsters Pretending to Buy Gold on Behalf of You
Sometimes scammers call you and ask to pay through the ‘collect money’ to get some gold. They will tell you you will get gold in your locker if you pay. However, people often fail to identify malicious intent and become victims of such fraud.
However, you can avoid all these scenarios if you stay attentive to unknown calls. Further, banks and payment applications also educate people on the preventive measures to prevent scams. These are discussed in the next segment.
How to Prevent Request Money Fraud?
Here are some preventive measures that you can follow to avoid a request money fraud:
- You do not need to enter your UPI PIN to get money. So whenever you get a call to convince you to insert your PIN and make a payment, you should hang up the call and report the number.
- If you have a collect money request from an unknown source, decline it and block the user.
- Refrain from sharing your details, card details, PIN, UPI ID and OTP with anyone. If the fraudsters try to convince you by introducing them as the agents of payment applications, you should ask them to send an official mail from their website or an authentic and verified mail Id. Thus, you should only respond to official emails and calls.
- Do not install third-party applications which can infect your device and fetch your personal data.
- You also do not need to scan any QR code to get money. So, if you have been requested to do so, refrain from it and report the requester.
- Do not accept payment requests without verifying the source.
- Do not respond to unknown calls asking for KYC updates.
- Refrain from cooperating with calls claiming them as bank representatives.
What to Do After Discovering a Request Money Fraud?
Unfortunately, if you become a victim of fraud, you should follow the below-mentioned steps to protect yourself from further mishaps. These are as follows:
1. Avoid Paying Any More
Sometimes, fraudsters follow different strategies to scam people and continue collecting money even when the victim suspects them. For example, they may promise you a long time return or similar means.
Hence, you need to understand and identify such practices and stop sending money as soon as you detect something is questionable and amiss.
2. Collect the Information
If you have got scammed, you must collect all the related information to present while you report the case. This information will include the following:
- Names and designations stated by the fraudsters
- The platforms they have used to contact you, such as different social media platforms
- The email addresses that the scammers used
- Phone number, account information, invoices etc.
- Information on the exchange of digital currencies etc.
3. Secure Your Accounts and Identity
To avoid other scams, you need to secure your accounts and identity. Here you can reset your logins and passwords. You should also check your cards and ask card authorities to provide the new account number. Further, for bank accounts, you need to call bank personnel and ask for preventive measures to protect your account.
4. Report the Scam
Once you discover the scam, do not delay and immediately report the incident. You can report it to the concerned application agency, your bank and the local authority. Hence, as the authorities get reported, they make your accounts safer, and you can make future transactions without harm.
5. Be Aware of Such Fraud
Once you face such issues, you should be very careful about future transactions. For that, you can follow the below-mentioned do’s and don’t’s.
- Verify every broker, merchant and seller before proceeding with any business
- Read the latest safety protocols and stay updated
- Ask experienced people before responding to collect money request
- Verify the sender’s identity
- Review privacy settings, disclaimers etc., before using social media.
- Do not click on fishy links sent via email
- Refrain from receiving calls asking for prepayments
- Do not pay any money to the sellers on popular listing sites before the delivery of your product
- Do not trade with unregistered traders
Online frauds are very common nowadays; however, there are always means to avoid them. The article has clearly outlined the steps you must take if you get a malicious request money fraud. Hence, if you stay attentive from the very beginning, you can easily identify such fraudulent attempts from the very beginning and proceed accordingly.