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Prank Payment App Fraud: What Is It And How To Stay Safe Of Such Fraud Payments?
Digital payments have certainly made life easy. Shops and retailers have scan & pay cards as well as credited UPI-based payment support. Apps like Google Pay, PhonePe, Paytm, and others are widely popular in India. However, it's always best to stay alert of fraudulent payments. The latest threat looming digital payments in India is the Prank Payment app.
Prank Payment app, as the name suggests, is an app that can easily be downloaded on any smartphone. The app provides images and screenshots as if a real payment has been made. Several retailers and merchants have become victims of the new Prank Payment app. Here's everything you need to know about it.
Pranking Payments Apps
If you open Google Play Store and search for the Prank Payment app, you find a list of payment-based apps like Google Pay, PhonePe, Paytm, and so on. If you continue scrolling, you will also find apps like Fake Money, Money Prank, and so on.
For instance, Money Prank Pro describes itself as an "app that is used to handle money to prank people. It allows you to trick your friends into thinking you have a lot of money." All friendly banter and pranks aside, such apps are also causing distress and are increasing fraud. One particular app that's causing a lot of damage is the Prank Payment app.
What Is Prank Payment App?
Luckily, the Prank Payment app can't be downloaded on Google Play or the App Store. That said, the APK file for download of the Prank Payment app is easily available on the internet. When you open your browser and search for the Prank Payment app, you will find results showing ‘Fake Payment Screenshot Maker'.
The description to this APK file reads: "Prank Payment is a fake payment screenshot application developed by Divakar Mourya and this application is similar to all types of payment app. Mostly this application is used for fun purposes. Like you can show your friends fake Payment transactions using this prank payment app."
How Does Prank Payment App Work?
Once again, the app is developed to prank friends and family. However, fraudsters are using the same app to dupe retailers and merchants. Here's how it works:
Step 1: Fraudsters download apps for prank payments either via the APK link or from Google Play
Step 2: The app homepage opens to icons of all popular payment methods in India, including Paytm, Amazon Pay, Google Pay, and PhonePe.
Step 3: Next, they ask merchants/retailers/or whoever they need to send the money to for their preferred payment method.
Step 4: They next press on the log of a particular payment platform like Google Pay. They also enter the amount and pay.
Step 5: The Prank Payment app and other such apps even show the phone number, the amount sent, a transaction ID, time, and other important details that are generally found after an authentic payment. However, since no money has actually been sent, this is a fraud case.
How To Stay Safe From Fraudulent Payments?
It seems like no matter how safe we think we are - we're not! Here's how to stay alert and safe from such fraudulent transactions:
Step 1: Avoid receiving payments via such methods if you don't trust the party
Step 2: Always check if you've received the amount instantly
Step 3: Ask for the party's phone number and other key details
Step 4: Raise concern and complain as soon as you know you've been tricked. Authorities might help catch fraudsters.