A year after its launch, the Brazilian instant payment system, Pix, has found success. Synonymous with ease and speed in payments, it didn’t take long to turn tools into the hands of criminals who find loopholes to implement scams.
So much so that an increase in fraud and kidnappings has led the Central Bank of Brazil to limit the value of transactions to R$1,000 between 8 pm and 6 am and on weekends. According to the Criminal Indicators Committee of the Minister of State for Public Security, 2,659 crimes were recorded during the period from January to October of this year alone, which also included electronic payment methods.
But it is not only consumers who fall into the trap of fraud. Many business owners have reported that losses from Pix scams are getting more and more frequent.
Trader at the Vitoria Center, Luis Carlos Jr. had to change his habits at the time of the sale after receiving several visits via Pix.
“The feeling that remains is one of rebellion. Unfortunately, it is a sacrifice to keep a store open with so many expenses and hardships we are going through in this crisis in Brazil. Now, what we are left with is to implement Pix only with the verbal authorization of the store owner..after confirming the funds In the company’s account and without using WhatsApp.
And businessman Aurimar Jr. was another victim. He got caught up in the fake Pix coupon situation. He stated that the alleged customer contacted the store via Whatsapp, asking for a budget for a cell phone of R$4,000.
“The delivery person took the goods to her, and at the same time sent her the payment receipt. Shortly thereafter, the delivery person called me to verify that the money had already fallen into the account. When I determined that the receipt was fake the person had already left. I even I tried to talk to her and ask for clarifications, but it was too late.”
When the businessman had already lost hope of recovering his loss, the Kariasica police station called, saying that the device had been recovered.
The purchase value was 310 BRL, but the woman wrote 31 cents
In another case of scammers using Pix, dealer Geraldo Antonio Ramos reported two tricks the same person had done in his trade. In the first case, he said, a woman attempted the first strike on May 20. The suspect chose three dresses for a total value of 310 R$.
When making the payment, he said he was in a hurry, made the transfer and left before the attendant could check the amount. The real amount transferred by the fraudster was 0.31 Brazilian Real.
On July 6, the same woman returned to the store to apply another scam. On the Pix receipt, the payment amount of R$ 0.01 only appears, but the purchase was R$ 475. This time, all the employees were already on the alert not to deliver any goods until the payment was confirmed.
“Since the customer had just left the store, we were able to catch her going down the escalator to the supermarket. After several clashes and discussions, she decided to buy back,” says the businessman.
Experts advise caution before finalizing the purchase
Tech security specialist, Eduardo Pinheiro, warns that it is essential
Always doubtful. After all, protected by anonymity behind the screen, it is not possible to tell who is the fraudster and who is the customer.
“Look for references from whom you are trading and pay attention to the details of the transaction. Especially if the bank account is in the name of the person making the purchase because many criminals use the names of third parties to activate bank accounts and also prepaid phone lines,” he advises.
The chief commissioner of the Civil Police of Campo Grande, Kariasica, Andrei Landera, began instructing dealers after the presence of a bicycle shop owner, who was also targeted by fraudsters.
“The alert we issue, which is the same alert we sent to the store owner: Open an account exclusively for receipts via Pix, so sellers and cashiers can access the account to see if the money has actually arrived,” she stated.
Banks can be held liable
Attorney and expert in consumer law, Rafael Camara, explains that not every Pix-related scam is the responsibility of the bank. “The bank is held liable if these infractions take place within the bank branches or even the use of the bank’s website. But in cases of more serious crimes, such as hijackings that happened frequently due to Pix, the bank is not responsible because this fact cannot be attributed to the branch or Any employee of the enterprise ”, distinguishes.
How to act if you are a victim
If a person has fallen victim to fraud even with all the care, then the recommendation of specialists is to prepare a police report as quickly as possible, providing as much evidence and details as possible. BO can be done online, without having to go to the police station.
The head of the fraud department, Douglas Silvera, highlights the importance of recording a police report after being caught up in a coup.
“With great caution, check if it is the correct value before delivering the goods. It can be online, it can be at the nearest police station or at a fraud office, but it is necessary and important to report it. Even if the value is also small, we advise on At least by preparing a police report so we can map these scams.”
Filing a police report, according to the Brazilian Federation of Banks (Febraban), is essential because all transactions via Pix can be traced and, therefore, possible to identify criminals.
The next step is to contact your bank or financial institution to find ways to get your money back and prevent more people from becoming victims.
Tips to avoid being scammed by Pix
– Set a daily limit for transferring via Pix on your bank’s application or official website;
– make transactions only on the application or the official website of your bank;
– make sure that the website of the bank or store you are browsing is the correct one;
– Check if the website you are browsing is secure by clicking on the lock next to the address bar of the browser;
– Do not click on links or download files from suspicious emails. Make sure the email has a trusted domain. When in doubt, find an official channel of communication;
– not to conduct financial transactions when connected to public networks such as shopping centers and restaurants;
– When you disclose your Pix key to people and companies with whom you do not have a trust relationship, you prefer to notify the random key;
Enable two-step authentication on all apps and social networks that provide the option.
With information from presenter Douglas Camargo, from TV Vitória / Record TV
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