Money Fraud Without OTP: This Is How Fraudsters Are Stealing Via Whatsapp, Without OTP


Rohit Kulkarni

Rohit Kulkarni

May 27, 2024


OTP, which was once seen as a security measure in order to prevent the money transfer frauds, is now become the modus operandi of some of the cyber tricksters and frauds.

Money Fraud Without OTP: This Is How Fraudsters Are Stealing Via Whatsapp, Without OTP

New Online Fraud Technique Exploiting Bank Impersonation via WhatsApp

In one such new online fraud technique, a case has been reported, wherein by just opening the message that looks like it came from reputed national bank, the money got stolen from the account, that too without providing any OTP!

Few days back, a person from Karnataka’s Maravante received a WhatsApp message that seemed to be from Canara Bank. 

Just when he opened the message, the fraudster withdrew Rs 48,900 from his SB account, Rs 60,900 from his SB Select account, Rs 1,69,000 from his OD account, and Rs 49,162 from his credit card, totaling Rs 3.27 lakh. 

Post this, a case was registered by Gangolli police.

It is imperative to understood how this fraud works. A WhatsApp message which seems to be coming from the reputed banks such as Canara, Baroda, SBI, ICICI, or HDFC. In order to fool people, such messages might have an image with resemblance to bank’s official seal and promise rewards.

There shall be an APK link included within it and once that is clicked, some applications get downloaded to your phone without your knowledge. 

What happens after they are installed in your phone is that all the SMS messages, including OTPs are forwarded by these apps to the fraudsters. Not just this, but they could also get a control of your WhatsApp groups and contact numbers.

Tips and Awareness Initiatives for Safeguarding Against Online Fraud 

As an adage goes, that prevention is better than cure. Hence, in order to tackle such frauds, it is recommended to dial 1930 to tackle such frauds especially within 30 minutes of this fraud. This helps to recover the money.

In order to create awareness about the same, the Udupi district police will conduct campaigns using microphones and distribute leaflets door to door.

Below are some additional tips to stave such miscreants off:

  • Banks do not send WhatsApp messages. Hence, do not click on links in messages claiming to be from banks. They only send transaction alerts to your inbox.
  • If such a message is received, immediately turn off your internet so that the installation of such apps can be prevented.
  • Upon receipt of such message, contact the branch by visiting the branch directly. Its also advisable to not search for the bank’s contact number online (Googling could also trap you in other scams)
  • Report to the nearest police station or call the 1930 helpline within half an hour if you suspect fraud.

Ever since the start of 2024, as many as 25 online fraud cases have been registered in the Udupi district.

In last year, more than 110 cases were reported. Most of the victims of such crimes were educated, which highlights the need for greater awareness and caution.

Inspector Ramachandra Nayak, Udupi CEN Station said: “Most victims are educated. It is important to be aware. Don’t open messages from unknown sources. Here, using common sense is more important than intelligence.”


Rohit Kulkarni
Rohit Kulkarni
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