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Paytm’s Vijay Shekhar Sharma cautions customers of scam messages and emails, Retail News, ET Retail

Paytm's Vijay Shekhar Sharma cautions customers of scam messages and emails MUMBAI: Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma has taken to social media to plead with customers to maintain caution and not fall for scam messages and emails from fraudsters pretending to be company officials.

“Pls (please) don’t trust any SMS sent on blocking your Paytm account or suggestion to do a KYC. These are fraudsters…” Sharma tweeted Tuesday evening.

In a separate tweet later, Sharma also shared a picture of an SMS sent by fraudsters to several Paytm customers which read: ‘We will hold your Paytm amount after some time-…complete your Paytm KYC,’ along with a phone number.

“These or some SMS with some lucky draw are examples of fraudsters attempting to get your details. Don’t fall for them,” Sharma warned Paytm customers.

These tweets come after hundreds of Paytm customers over the past three months have registered complaints with the company’s cyber cell and RBI ombudsman over fraud claims after getting duped by scamsters posing as Paytm employees.

According to two people that ET spoke with who have been duped in this fashion, the modus operandi involves the scamsters asking the targeted customer to download a mobile or desktop application to facilitate the KYC process. These applications include among others Anydesk, Quicksupport and TeamViewer.

Once these fraudsters get hold of the pin generated by these applications they get remote access to the victim’s device where subsequently in a series of two to four transactions, the fraudster siphons off funds from the victim’s bank account linked with the mobile wallet.

“We encourage our users to report all such incidents to us and to crime branch as well so that we can take concrete action against these fraudsters,” Satish Kumar Gupta, MD, Paytm Payments Bank, told ET in an emailed statement. “Our cyber cell department is in constant touch with police crime branches and we are also informing our customers via blog posts, app notifications, social media, etc. to safeguard themselves from such incidents.”

While the extent of damage by these frauds is unclear, Paytm Payments Bank had said in an earlier statement that these messages have been sent on a “widespread” basis.

As per data shared at Rajya Sabha by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday, RBI has received 1,997 complaints against payments banks in the Banking Ombudsman and Reserve Bank of India’s Consumer Education and Protection Cells between July and November of 2019. Of these, just 36 percent or 723 of the cases have been resolved with the rest 1,274 still “under process.” However, it remains unclear how many of these cases pertained specifically to frauds happening at Paytm.

The RBI didn’t respond to ET’s mailed queries.

“We would like to inform all our customers that Paytm’s KYC procedure does not get done via remote desktops apps. Also, Paytm does not call customers to get their KYC done via phone, nor does the customer need to install any new app for KYC,” Gupta said.

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