|Screengrab from video viral on Social Media.|
The government agency behind the FASTag toll collection programme has refuted a viral video which claims to show a child scanning a FASTag to steal money from a driver’s bank account, Money Control reported.
The video in question appears to show a child scanning the FASTag with his smartwatch while wiping the windshield of a car. When asked by the driver about the watch on his wrist, the child runs away quickly.
The driver then explains that the child is part of a larger scam in which fraudsters have given smartwatches with scanners to children who beg at traffic signals. When the children hold their watches near the FASTag, money gets deducted from the driver’s account.
A FASTag is a prepaid rechargeable tag service that allows the driver to make automatic payment for tolls. An activated FASTag, which is installed on the car’s windshield, uses Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology to communicate with the scanner which automatically deducts the amount from the user’s bank account.
The video of the FASTag scam has gone massively viral on social media and over messaging platforms like WhatsApp – but not everyone is convinced about its authenticity. Several fact-checkers and cyber security experts, as well as the unverified official Twitter account of FASTag NETC, have refuted the claims, saying it is impossible to steal money using this method.
The Twitter account of FASTag said that Fastag payments can only be made to FastTAG-approved merchants while responding to the video. It is not possible for unauthorised devices to initiate financial transactions on FASTag.
“NETC FASTag transaction can only be initiated by the registered merchants (Toll & Parking Plaza operators) which are onboarded by NPCI only from the respective geo-locations,” the account said in response to the viral video. “No unauthorized device can initiate any financial transactions on NETC FASTag. It is absolutely safe.”
Hi, NETC FASTag transaction can only be initiated by the registered merchants (Toll & Parking Plaza operators) which are onboarded by NPCI only from the respective geo-locations. No unauthorized device can initiate any financial transactions on NETC FASTag. It is absolutely safe.
— FASTag NETC (@FASTag_NETC) June 24, 2022
The official Twitter handle of Paytm also flagged the video as fake and said it was spreading misinformation.
A video is spreading misinformation about Paytm FASTag that incorrectly shows a smartwatch scanning FASTag. As per NETC guidelines, FASTag payments can be initiated only by authorised merchants, onboarded after multiple rounds of testing. Paytm FASTag is completely safe & secure. pic.twitter.com/BmXhq07HrS
— Paytm (@Paytm) June 25, 2022
Ethical hacker and cyber security expert Sunny Nehra also flagged the video as fake. “Fastag payments can only be made to FastTAG approved merchants which are licensed toll operators with unique identifier issued by NHAI,” he said
It’s #FAKE video – scripted & conceptually wrong.
Fastag payments can only be made to FastTAG approved merchants which are licensed toll operators with unique identifier issued by NHAI. pic.twitter.com/ZhUaXEAm7W
— Sunny Nehra (@sunnynehrabro) June 24, 2022
Several other experts and business leaders raised doubts about the authenticity of the video.