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Protect Yourself from E-wallet Fraud

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E-wallet frauds are on a rise!

E-Wallets in India have become the most convenient way that its citizens have stated transacting on on-line and off-line market. The more is the proliferation of this E-wallet, the more are the crime rate through these services. The very fact that these E-wallets are offering the convenience to its end-users, the market has now become more dynamic. To follow the market and to provide the best of services to the users; even SBI, the largest Bank of the Country has also started providing the E-wallet facility under the brand name “YONO” to its customers.

The Top Ten E-wallets in India are (in Alphabetic Order): Amazon Pay, BHIM Axis Pay, Citi MasterPass, Google Pay (formerly known as Tez), HDFC PayZapp, ICICI Pockets, Mobikwik, PayTM, PhonePe (patronized by Samsung, now part of Flipkart), Yono by SBI, etc. There are many more and most of them offer the same number of services. The service providers offer many incentives, like bonus, cash-back, etc to lure customers to subscribe to their services.

These service providers cannot provide services without a license and they need to adhere to the RBI norms. While the mushrooming of these services providers indicate the growing need for secure, faster and efficient payment methods for online marketplace, efforts to make payments to individual or to retail stores is also increasing. There are Start-ups also huge corporates (like Amazon) who are constantly on the lookout for business and bring in more customers into its business, they are also bringing out innovative technology. Apart from those that are legitimate in India, it is believed that there are many more E-wallets that are providing services on un-authorised grounds and have locally linked itself to the BHIM.

The Unified Payments Interface (UPI) is another facility under the supervision of RBI that is facilitating the E-wallet for Indian Banks. This is also the Gateway for E-wallet exchange of the Government of India. UPI is an instant payment system developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), an RBI-regulated entity.


Protect Yourself from Crime on your E-wallet

Prevention is better, and is much easier and beneficial than the cure. In order to avoid being defrauded of your money and then to, you can take a few measures to ensure that your online transactions are secure while using the E-wallet. Never enter your PIN, CVV or OTP unless you are absolutely sure that you are on a secure payment gateway of platform.

“Avoid using public WiFi as they are a haven for criminals looking to intercept your connection and use it to steal passwords, banking or credit card information, and other personal data. Even if you are connected to a legitimate access point, make sure that the sites you are using are protected using SSL (secure sockets layer), or consider using a VPN to protect your transactions,” said Michael Joseph, director system engineering, India and Saarc, Fortinet, a cyber security solutions company.

Joseph also warns against duplicitous apps and websites which you might unwittingly access. This also applies to looking up phone numbers online, as anyone can list a fake number with the name of the service provider you are looking to connect with. Always look up the official website and call the number listed there. “Every browser supports secure transactions using SSL encryption. But to be safe, make sure your connection is secure before you make mobile payments. You can do this by looking at the URL bar of your browser and making sure that the address starts with https:// rather than http://. You can also look for the little lock icon on your browser. These will mean that your transaction is protected,” said Joseph.

It’s nearly impossible to predict what the next modus operandi is going to be. To safeguard your money, stick to a few cardinal rules like using only secure payment gateways and never sharing your PIN with anyone, and always be careful.

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