WhatsApp safety campaign launched; shows how to avoid phishing scams, UPI ID spoofing, more | How-to

WhatsApp safety campaign launched; shows how to avoid phishing scams, UPI ID spoofing, more

WhatsApp has launched an online safety campaign called #TakeCharge. Its aim is to help users to avoid dangers of digital payments like phishing scams, UPI ID spoofing.

| Updated on: Aug 22 2022, 00:01 IST
#TakeCharge, the WhatsApp online safety campaign, educates users on best practices to adopt while making digital payments and how to avoid phishing scams.
#TakeCharge, the WhatsApp online safety campaign, educates users on best practices to adopt while making digital payments and how to avoid phishing scams. (REUTERS)

Starting February 8, WhatsApp has launched a week long online safety campaign called #TakeCharge, in partnership with Yuvaa, the youth-focused media company. Its launch coincides with Safer Internet Day and the campaign aims to raise awareness about online safety, encouraging people to understand the various safety tools and resources that can be used to stay in control online. Today, on February 10, WhatsApp released fresh guidelines on the dangers that exist in digital payments such as phishing scams, UPI ID spoofing and other fraudulent activities as well as the best practices that can help users circumvent them.

Today, we all participate in digital transactions through e-wallets, UPI and net banking. However, with the rise of digital commerce, one has to be careful about the various scams that plague this space. With all your financial data packed onto your smartphone, it means any hacker or scammer can gain access to this sensitive data and steal all your money if you are not careful. Many malicious apps are capable of sneakily extracting your financial information. In a world like this, it is more and more important to not only be aware of the dangers that exist, but also know the best ways to protect yourself from them.

“UPI continues to remain one of the safest, convenient and interoperable modes of making payments. However, India's growing acceptance of online payments has also seen an increase in digital payment frauds. This can be remedied by raising user awareness and education about staying safe, informed and vigilant while using digital payments to prevent misuse by bad actors,” said the official press release.

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What are some common online scams you should be aware of

Phishing Scams: WhatsApp says that these are online scams in the form of email or text messages and pretend to be from well-known sources such as UPI providers, banks, and e-wallet providers, requesting personal information. Once you share it with them, they use the information to steal your money.

Fake Customer Care Frauds: According to WhatsApp, these are usually done over a phone call or through voice messages, such fake customer care numbers of UPI apps request information such as an OTP or a UPI pin, pretending to solve an issue. They can be very malicious and pressurize you to share the details and if you don't they might even threaten to close your account. Never fall for this.

Collect Request Frauds and QR Code-Related Scams: “Collect request” links lure users with cashback or lottery wins with just a click, resulting in money being deducted from the user's account, instead of them receiving money. Scammers convince users to accept the collect request and enter the UPI PIN, to receive money. They might sometimes also ask users to scan QR codes to receive money, according to WhatsApp.

UPI ID Spoofing: WhatsApp warns that scammers can also create deceptive UPI handles by changing a few letters in UPI IDs of genuine businesses in an attempt to divert money to themselves. Users should be alert and must thoroughly check a UPI ID before starting any transaction.

Not stopping at that, WhatsApp also shared the best practices that you should follow while making a digital transaction to keep yourself safe.

Best practices to consider while making digital transactions

Step 1:

Never share personal details such as account number, login ID, password, UPI-PIN, OTP, ATM pin, debit card or credit card details with anyone, including bank officials, however genuine they might sound

Step 2:

Enter UPI PIN only to deduct money from your account. UPI PIN is not required for receiving money. 

Step 3:

Do not scan a QR code to receive money. In UPI you only scan a QR code for making payments.

Step 4:

Check the receiver's name on verifying the UPI ID. Do not make payments without verification.

Step 5:

Check URLs and domain names for spelling errors. Use only verified, secured, and trusted websites starting with ‘’https’’ and apps for making digital transactions. In case of suspicion, notify local police and the cybercrime branch immediately.

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First Published Date: 10 Feb, 19:50 IST