Hyderabad: The digital world of cash transactions might be all slick, quick and trendy. But beneath all the buildup lurk the same dangers that prowl in the world of hard cash.
Just when digital transactions are catching on, through mobile wallets and mobile applications, cyber crooks have come up spoofs for these too. Recent incidents, in which two hotel managers were duped in the city, show that fraudsters have managed to get people download a spoof of popular mobile wallet service provider Paytm.
According to the the Rachakonda Cyber Cell police, they dealt with two cases in which the managements of the Boduppal and Kothapet branches of a prominent hotel were duped with fake digital payment confirmation messages.
The suspects, said to be BTech students in both cases, had cheated the hotel managers using a fake app called ‘Spoof PayAtm’ available on the internet, police said.
Assistant Commissioner of Police (Cyber Cell) S Harinath said the customers placed an order for two food products and paid the bill by using the app. They acted as if paying the bill by following all due procedures while using the original Paytm app, like scanning QR Code and entering the mobile number and amount required to make the payment.
The manager was shown their mobile screen, which said payment was successful to the hotel’s account.
According to Harinath, the manager believed them and did not check the account or the mobile phone on there would be alerts when the hotel receives money made digital transactions.
“The suspects duped the manager by using an application that was a spoof,” he said.
Though the amount lost in the two cases was less than Rs 1,000, Sub-Inspector (Cyber Cell) P Saidulu said Spoof PayAtm was just one among the several fake applications available on the internet and which were being used to cheat people.
“These apps will follow a similar process as how the original apps do. Merchants using the provision of digital payments must ensure that they rely upon their sources to confirm the transactions before delivering the products,” he said.
No case has been registered so far since the hotels management did not lodge a complaint, the SI said.