Since demonetization, digital payment platforms have become prominent for online transactions. And the pandemic and lockdowns have given all the more hype to this trend. Almost everything is being ordered and paid online. This sudden surge in online transactions, especially during the pandemic has given a golden opportunity to scammers to fool the users and dupe money.
Though cashless payment has eased out our lives, however, it has also increased the risks, especially for those who are new at using these platforms. The latest one is the PayTM Cashback offer used for phishing away user information and personal data.
Several digital platforms used for shopping, booking hotels, tickets, paying bills etc offer you cashback rewards, points or scratch cards. PayTM also has some of these offers for its loyal and regular customers. Generally, the rewards offered by PayTM for sending money to someone from the PayTM wallet or, paying a utility bill, or using any other services are in the form of reward points, cashback or discounts on selected sites.
“The users who are familiar with ‘how the app works’ know about the cashback schemes but for someone new, a random cashback notification might be luring enough to get into a trap.”
How Does The PayTM Cashback Trap Work?
One such incident happened with Rakesh Bansal, a 56 years old Jabalpur resident. He randomly started receiving Chrome notifications on his phone, that he has won Rs 2378/- as cashback from PayTM. At first, he did not pay much attention, but, when he repeatedly got the same type of notifications 2-3 times, he opened it and became a victim of the PayTM Cashback scam.
Sharing his story, Rakesh said, “I started receiving these notifications from Chrome, saying that I have won cashback from PayTM. Since I was busy reading the newspaper, I did not pay much attention to it. But within a span of 10 minutes, I got 3 more similar notifications. Out of curiosity, I simply opened it and it redirected me to another page. It looked very much similar to the PayTM page, so I thought, this is probably true and maybe luckily I earned the cashback.”
However, instead of getting Rs 2378, Rakesh ended up getting the amount deducted from his account. When Rakesh clicked on the notification, it redirected him to paytm-cashoffer.com, which looked very much similar to the official PayTM site. On the redirected fake site, it showed him a popup window that prompted Rakesh to click the “Pay” button in order to send the cashback amount to his PayTM wallet. Without paying attention to the “Pay” instead of the “Send” button, Rakesh hit the button and lost his money.
This is how the scammers play with the psychology of the user. First, they lure them into the trap of having won amazing cashback and then divert their mind by the cashback offer to such extent that the victim does not pay attention to whether he is “sending” the money to his account or “paying” it?
📢 Do not trust or entertain any such fraudulent SMSes. We are not running these offers or campaigns. Never share your OTP or password with anyone or on any suspicious links. To complete your @Paytm KYC, click here https://t.co/RDT6jx5gnu pic.twitter.com/xpfRcn6dsw— Paytm Cyber Cell (@PaytmCybercell) August 1, 2019
How To Stay Safe From PayTM Cashback Scam?
Generally, the notifications, messages or emails that claim you have won cashback or prize etc are fake and just a trap to hack your personal details. It is advised to not simply click on such links without verifying them from the official website.
Also, to avoid falling a victim to such frauds, get the full information about the apps you are using, especially where financial transactions are involved. To warn and save their customers from such traps, PayTM regularly shares warning messages. It is important to note that:
- PayTM never gives cashback or reward points using an external link or third-party site.
- If you have won any cashback, it will automatically be credited to your PayTM wallet or the bank account linked with the app.
- The app never asks any user to visit any different site to avail reward points or cashback.
- You will not receive any notifications from Chrome for cashback or rewards. The notifications will either be sent to your registered email address or through the PayTM app itself.
- It is advised not to click on any such suspicious emails, links or notifications.
In order to ensure the safety and privacy of its users, PayTM claimed that it has the best cyber security team. With the help of AI technology, the app can immediately identify any suspicious or fraudulent activities and send flagged fraudulent notifications to telecom authorities, banks of the user as well as inform the cyber cell.
Going cashless and using digital platforms is good, however, your safety is in your hands and you need to stay alert and safe from falling a victim to such scams. To know more about online scams and frauds stay connected with Digital Yug.