How a scammer tried to scam friends of my friend using Facebook and Google Pay

Someone created a fake profile of my friend, sent friend request to all of his friends and tried to ask money using google pay, phone pay etc. In this post I am going to write all about the incident and how you can be safe in such scenarios.

How we came to know about the scammer?

We work at the same place and luckily we were sitting together the time I got a friend request with his name and profile was bearing his photo. But he was not using his phone from like past 30 mins. I told him that I have got a friend request from his profile, while we were connected on facebook from past 4-5 years. To which he wondered how come he can send the request. We did some digging and found out something is fishy. We thought some one is playing with him. So I just accepted the request and sent a message pretending that I don’t know anything.

Scammer started asking money

After exchange of some messages and pretending to know nothing scammer started his trick. He asked for Rs. 2000, which he need on urgent basis and assured that he will return by evening. To which I said OK, I’ll do that, and asked for his number. I was trying to get as much information as I could. After some exchange of messages and faking, we got his phone number.

He used My Friend’s Name on Google Pay Account so covered his name.

What we did to reduce the damage and save our friends from sending him money?

As soon as we came to know about his motive we started preventive measures:

  1. Post a status: We created a post and also put the same as status from Real profile of my friend as all the friends are already connected to his real profile. We also started tagging friends from A-Z.
  2. Registered a Complaint on Cyber Crime Portal: We also registered a complaint at Cyber Crime Portal(https://cybercrime.gov.in/). Later they contacted us and we provided them with all the details.
  3. Complaint to Google Pay: As we had his number and UPI ID, we complained to google with all the information we had. Not sure if they blocked him.
  4. Report to Facebook: As soon as he sensed we are not giving him money, he blocked my profile. We reported to Facebook from his real profile after some time that fake profile was gone, so either Facebook disabled it or he deactivated it. Whichever be the case profile was gone from Facebook. And we were relieved that he is not scamming any of his friends now.

In case you get into similar situation please don’t freak out and act smart follow above steps and be safe. In case your friend ask you money on Facebook or Whatsapp or any other chatting platform just call them and make sure its them not someone else pretending to be your friend.

Other types of Scam

Above scam is just one example there are 100s of other ways to scam people, I am listing down some of the most popular ones:

  1. Won a lottery: Someone mailed you that you won a lottery, while you never bought a ticket or participated in any contest. Its a very old scam, earlier it was only used in mails, now as scammers know they can’t be traced, they call you directly. Beware.
  2. Some Prince or Businessman wants to transfer you their fortune: Very old mail scam. Someone whom you don’t know will never give you their hard earned money. They will ask you to pay a small fees to get the documents etc.
  3. Enter PIN in Google Pay: Someone said they are giving you money or you are getting a cashback from a company on Google pay, and you just have to enter your UPI PIN. Don’t enter your google pay PIN. On google pay or any other medium like – Paytm, Phone pay, your bank account – you never have to do anything to get money. You don’t need to give authorization(PIN/Security Code/Thumb Impression/Signature) to receive money. Only sending money needs your authorization for obvious reasons.
  4. Pay Custom Duty: Someone unknown is sending you a gift package or your order needs you to pay custom duty. Don’t fall for that scam. Custom duties are paid through custom website or at counter, no body will come and collect your custom duty or accept it on paytm/google pay etc.

All these scams will start with a small amount like Rs. 1000 or Rs. 500 and will increase the amount with one or other reason. Beware if you have paid someone first time for whatever be the reason and they are asking for more, your mind should ring the bell. Immediately call police and let police handle it. If they are not helping don’t transfer a single Rupee.

Golden Rule

All these scammers have one and only one motive and that is – to steal your money. There is no such thing as easy money or free money. So whenever some is offering you free money or cashback, beware they might be trying to steal your money.

New Money In Market

Although money is the only thing they want but there is one more indirect money. And that money is your private information. Don’t just give Name/Your bank Name/account number/address/family details etc. They create your profile using several calls like as insurance agent/survey company etc. and then target you with this information to gain your trust that they are legit source.

Let me give you few examples:

Call 1

Someone called you, asked your name and claimed to be from a bank or Credit Card and saying open an account/get credit card in their bank. You told them that you already have an account in their bank or you said you already have an account in different bank they asked which bank, you told them you have an account/credit card with Your Bank Name and call ended normally.

Information – Your Name, Bank Name, Credit Card Company Name.

Call 2

Someone called from National Insurance and wants to get feedback, wheather your insurance provider is giving you all the details and benefits. Are they giving reports about your monthly/yearly returns. You said no they don’t send it. And out of anger give them your Policy Provider name, policy number, Plan details etc.

Information – Policy Provider, Policy Number, Plan Details

Call 3

Someone called you and said there is a survey going on from Your Bank(they know exact name), they asked you to give last 4 digit of your account number for verification. And then asked some questions about their service etc.

Information – Last 4 digits of your account number. Or same can be done for CC number.

Call 4

Someone called and told you that they have received a request to block your credit card/bank account online. And as per safety protocol they called the registered number and wants to verify. But for safety reasons they want to know your complete account number(they will give you last 4 digits). You give them full account number, Address, date of account opening etc.

Information – Account number/Credit Card No/Address/Date of opening.

Conclusion

I can give endless examples of these frauds but you need to act smart and never share your personal information to anyone.

  1. There is no easy money, if you are getting anything for free ring the bell.
  2. Don’t share your sensitive information with any random caller even if they are from bank, first verify they are from bank then only share the information and never share your PIN/Account Number etc.

Be safe and be aware.

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