Digital payment undoubtedly makes life easier. Stores and retailers have scan and payment cards and UPI-based credit payment support. Apps such as Google Pay, PhonePe, Paytm are very popular in India. However, it is best to always be alert to fraudulent payments. The latest imminent digital payment threat in India is the Prank Payment app.
The Prank Payment app, as the name suggests, is an app that can be easily downloaded on any smartphone. The app provides images and screenshots as if a real payment has been made. Some retailers and merchants have become victims of the new Prank Payment app.
Pranking Payments application
If you open the Google Play store and search for the Prank Payment application, you will find a list of payment-based apps, such as Google Pay, PhonePe, Paytm, etc. If you continue to scroll, you will also find apps such as Fake Money and Money Prank.
For example, Money Prank Pro describes itself as “an app used to deal with money for pranks. It allows you to trick your friends into thinking that you have a lot of money.” Keeping aside all friendly jokes and pranks, this type of app can also cause distress and increase fraud. One particular application that causes a lot of damage is the prank payment application.
What is a prank payment application?
Fortunately, the Prank Payment app cannot be downloaded on Google Play or App Store. But, the APK file used to download the Prank Payment application is easily available on the Internet. When you open your browser and search for the Prank Payment app, you will find a result that says “Fake Payment Screenshot Maker”. The description of this APK file is: “Prank Payment is a fake payment screenshot application developed by Divakar Mourya. This application is similar to all types of payment applications. In most cases, this application is used for entertainment purposes. Just like you can use this prank payment app to show your friends fake payment transactions. ”
How does the prank payment application function?
Clearly, the app was developed to prank friends and family. However, fraudsters are using the same application to deceive retailers and merchants. The working principle is as follows:
- The fraudster downloads the app for prank payment through the APK link or from Google Play.
- The app homepage opens the icons of all popular payment methods in India, including Paytm, Amazon Pay, Google Pay And phone number.
- After that, they ask the merchant/retailer/or anyone they need to send money to and choose their preferred payment method.
- Then they press the log of a specific payment platform (such as Google Pay). They also enter the amount and pay.
- Prank payment apps and other such apps will even display the phone number, the amount sent, the transaction ID, time, and other important details that are usually only found after the actual payment. However, since no money was actually sent, this is a case of fraud.
How to avoid fraudulent payments?
It seems that no matter how safe we think we are-none of us are! Here’s how to stay vigilant and safe about such fraudulent transactions:
- If you don’t trust the party, please avoid receiving payments through this method.
- Always check if you have received the money immediately.
- Apart from that, ask for the party’s phone number and other key details.
- Raise concerns and complaints as soon as you know you have been deceived. The authorities may help catch fraudsters.