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Airtel KYC fraud case: some people lost money; here’s how to save yourself




  • Airtel has issued a warning altering its customers about the scam.
  • The scam message comes from an unknown number and not an official channel that has a call-back number.
  • The details are then used to withdraw money from the customer’s bank account.

India is moving fast on the road to becoming a cashless economy. In the past few years, there has been a rise in robust digital payments infrastructure with UPI at its core. The Covid pandemic also underlined the importance of digital payment. It brought a massive shift in consumer behavior and forced them to adapt to digital transactions.

However, the convenience that digital transactions bring comes with their share of liabilities. Fraudsters and scamsters with sound knowledge of social engineering tactics have been leveraging KYC procedures to steal people’s hard-earned money. They primarily target those who are ignorant about these technologies.

Airtel’s CEO contacts customers to warn them of a new scam that steals all of their bank details and eventually steals their money. A new scam has been circulating under the guise of the Airtel KYC service that asks for all bank details as a solution to a bogus problem.

The customers get calls or messages from the fraudster claiming to be from a bank or financial institution and ask for account details or an OTP to unblock or renew the existing bank account. The details are then used to withdraw money from the customer’s bank account.

“There are several fake UPI apps and e-commerce websites which appear authentic in design through the usage of NPCI, BHIM words, and logos. If you download one of these, you will be asked to enter all your bank details as well as your MPIN thereby granting the fraudster in question complete access to your bank details,” Mr. Vittal wrote.

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How to protect yourself from KYC fraud?

  • Vittal also listed out precautions to safeguard against these frauds, advising customers not to share any financial or personal information like your customer ID, MPIN, OTP over the phone, SMS, or email.
  • Do not open unexpected email attachments or instant message download links. Additionally, installing antivirus software will help. It scans every file you download and protects you from malicious files.
  • Do not share your personal and financial information with unknown apps claiming to be UPI apps.

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