Beware! Now, fraudsters can transfer money without OTP

08:58 AM May 20, 2024 | Team Udayavani |

Udupi: As technology advances, fraudsters are using new techniques to scam people. OTP was seen as a security measure to prevent money transfer frauds. Recently, a new online fraud method has come to light. Just by opening a message that looks like it is from a reputed national commercial bank, money can be stolen from your account without you providing an OTP.


A few days ago, a person from Maravante received a WhatsApp message that seemed to be from Canara Bank. After opening the message, fraudsters withdrew Rs 48,900 from his SB account, Rs 60,900 from his SB Select account, Rs 1,69,000 from his OD account, and Rs 49,162 from his credit card, totaling Rs 3.27 lakh. The Gangolli police have registered a case.

How Does the Fraud Work?

You may receive a WhatsApp message that appears to be from banks like Canara, Baroda, SBI, ICICI, or HDFC. The message might have an image resembling the bank’s official seal and promise rewards.

It will include an APK link. If you click on the link, applications will be downloaded to your phone without your knowledge. These applications forward your SMS messages, including OTPs, to the fraudsters. They also gain access to your WhatsApp groups and contact numbers.


Preventive Measures

The police have started a toll-free helpline, 1930, to tackle such frauds. If victims report within half an hour, it can help recover the stolen money. To create awareness, the Udupi district police will conduct campaigns using microphones and distribute leaflets door to door.

Safety Tips

Here are some additional tips to avoid becoming victims of such frauds:

  • Do not click on links in messages claiming to be from banks. Banks do not send WhatsApp messages. They only send transaction alerts to your inbox.
  • If you receive such a message, turn off your mobile data immediately to prevent apps from downloading.
  • Contact your bank visiting the branch directly if you get such a message. Do not search for the bank’s contact number online (Googling could also trap you in other scams)
  • Report to the nearest police station or call the 1930 helpline within half an hour if you suspect fraud.

Rising Cases of Online Fraud

Since January, over 25 cases of online fraud have been registered in Udupi district. In 2023, more than 110 cases were reported. Most victims are educated, highlighting the need for greater awareness and caution.

Inspector Ramachandra Nayak, Udupi CEN Station said: “Most victims are educated. It is important to be aware. Don’t open messages from unknown sources. Here, using common sense is more important than intelligence.”

By staying alert and using common sense, we can protect ourselves from falling victim to such frauds. “Don’t be careless,” he adds.


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