While mobile payment solutions are increasingly getting popular, there are a dozen clones of the same which deliver as useful an information as fake news do. Even after several reinforcements from Apple and Google, fake apps still exist in the app stores and cyber crooks take advantage of the same to misuse it for personal or monetary benefits.
According to Telangana Today, supermarkets and shops in Hyderabad reported being duped to a total of Rs 2 lakh owing to the misuse of a spot version of the Paytm app. Hyderabad Task Force claimed that a bunch of cyber crooks had downloaded the ‘Prank Paytm’ app from the Google Play Store and cheated the shopkeepers in making them believe that they paid for their products.
One of the officials for the Task Force said “After shopping, they act as if they are using Paytm on their phones to the pay the bill. They would have entered the details of the particular store already in the app. With the app being a prank version, they will get a message saying the payment was successful, and they hoodwink the cashier showing that message with a transaction ID”.
In normal scenarios, shopkeepers usually jot down Transaction ID which is an acknowledgement they receive upon a user paying for a product. Merchants will wait till the end of the day totally the product of each and every transaction. Frauds misused these means to ‘purchase’ items off the shops whose cashiers won’t instantly look for a receipt from Paytm. The con only came to light when one of the shopping centres couldn’t find their transactions through Paytm during a tally.
In their investigation, the Hyderabad Task Force said “When the Prank Paytm app is downloaded, a warning message is displayed to users informing them that the app is intended to prank friends. It says users would have the sole responsibility for any misuse of the app. There are many such fake mobile apps available online for money transactions.”
The task force is currently verifying the identities of the developer of the app but claims that the app has been modified and removed from Google Play Store by restriction people from downloading the same.
Lately, a lot of technology organisations are gunning against fake news and accounts to fight spam and fraud across digital platforms. Google is currently working on tackling fake news by rolling out the Google News Initiative while Facebook axed 583 million accounts off its social media site to eradicate fake accounts.