How to stay secure from digital wallet fraud?


By: Asmita

 It has been over a decade since digital payment systems were first introduced in Nepal, and people were slowly but surely shifting towards digitization. When the spread of Covid-19 turned the world upside down in 2020, Nepalese also quickly adjusted to the new, socially distanced world. Today, mobile payment apps are rapidly becoming the preferred option for consumers all over Nepal to pay for goods and services. However, with anything good that arrives, there is always a piece of bad that follows; as is the case for digitalization. The popularity of digital payments has also increased the risk of unaware users being targeted by fraudsters and scam artists who abuse these apps for their illegal schemes. But, we must not panic, we must learn because the best line of defense is awareness.

Payment gateways like digital wallets in Nepal provide users with a wide range of payment services; they allow you to transfer money to any mobile number, or send and receive remittance online, users can even easily make utility payments on these digital wallet apps. Digital Wallet apps are powerhouses in the palm of your hands.

The digital wallet industry in Nepal is thriving amidst the pandemic, due to the safety precautions we all must take to minimize the risk of the Covid-19 virus. Digital wallet companies are dedicated to finding ways to continually improve the ease, convenience, and security for the users. However, as quick, convenient, and secure as these companies try to make their systems, there is always a risk of misuse by fraudsters; these are predators who may abuse the lack of awareness in our users.

Digital Payment fraud is any type of false or illegal transaction completed by a cybercriminal. These fraudsters can trick you into giving up sensitive information or private financial data and steal your money without your knowledge. Imagine if you left your purse at a public place and someone finds it. Let’s say a few genuine people would help you get it back, but mostly that unknown person will empty your purse, right? It’s the same if you share your Password, Pin, OTP, CVV, etc., and other crucial information with anyone. Digital fraudsters can use various measures and tactics to lure you into their trap. It's up to you to maintain necessary precautions to keep your money and information secure, and your wallet safe.

All you need to know about Digital Scams

Here’s a look at some of the ways these scammers can steal your money from digital platforms:

  • Asking for your OTP, Password, PIN, CVV number.
  • Asking to send money for payment through social networks/ Online delivery for your online purchases and then not delivering the goods. So we need to be very careful while sending money to unknown numbers.
  • Claiming you’ve won Lottery/bonus/Contest through fake Viber, WhatsApp, SMS channels. Asking to deposit tax amount or certain deposit in Bank account or asking to remit the money.
  • Use your personal documents and create a fake account with your name and details.
So are digital payment platforms safe to use? Yes, indeed, if used properly and securely.

What not to do?

If you are using the digital wallet platforms for payment, here are some of the tips of the things you must never do:

  • Never share your Password, Pin, OTP, CVV, etc. with anyone, not even if the person says they’re calling from the digital wallet company. Representatives will never contact you to ask for your confidential information.
  • Never share your sensitive information on unknown social media pages/sites or through mail/SMS. Scammers might misuse your personal details to create fake accounts in your name.
  • Before sending money to any mobile number or domestic remittance, if you are unsure, always confirm by calling the person if it is their genuine mobile number.
  • Don’t click on any SMS, suspicious email/site links offering cashback unless it’s from an official channel.
  • Be careful while sending money to Social networks, online product or service purchases. Make confirmation of the official wallet number before sending money in such cases.

If you’ve become a victim of fraud, what to do next?

  • Kindly report possible cases of cyber-crime as soon as possible to your local police station.
  • Report financial irregularities in your account to the respective company.
  • Stay alert of financial fraud arising from phishing & vishing attacks.
  • In case you lose your phone, immediately call the customer service of your digital wallet.

Remember, your data is your power, and it needs to be protected!


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