Truecaller automatically signs up people for UPI account, people call it scam and fear for their money

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Truecaller is reportedly creating UPI accounts of users with ICICI Bank.
  • Truecaller users reported this issue after updating their Android app to the latest version 10.41.6.
  • Truecaller partnered with ICICI Bank back in 2017 to launch UPI-based mobile payment service.

On Tuesday, some Truecaller users in India woke up to find what could be a major UPI scam in the making. It seems the popular Caller ID app is creating UPI accounts with ICICI Bank of users without their consent. The issue has been raised by multiple Truecaller users after updating their phones to the latest version of Truecaller.

One Twitter user, @Codepodu, explains that his Truecaller app sent an encrypted SMS from his phone to an unknown number, following which ICICI Bank sent an SMS that read, “Your registration for UPI app has started”. The user said that the Truecaller app auto-updated on his Android phone overnight to the latest version 10.41.6. Following the roll out of the latest update, the app has reportedly been creating UPI accounts with ICICI Bank for many users without their consent.

Dheeraj Kumar@codepodu

Thread. I fell victim to a @Truecaller UPI scam this morning. @npci_npci @upi_npci.

Dheeraj Kumar@codepodu

I woke up and checked my android phone, which auto-updated a few apps, including @Truecaller . It automatically, immediately sent an encrypted SMS from my phone to an unknown number, following which @ICICIBank sent me a sms …

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In the same thread, the user clarified that he does not have an account with ICICI Bank, so it seems this bug is also affecting users to do not have an ICICI Bank account. To recall, Truecaller partnered with ICICI Bank back in 2017 to launch UPI-based mobile payment service. It looks like a bug is now automatically creating UPI accounts with ICICI Bank without the user’s knowledge or consent. We have reached out to Truecaller for a statement and will update this story as we get it.

Pratik Sinha

@free_thinker

Thread on how @Truecaller is breaching privacy and creating UPI accounts without user’s express consent. Other instances of the same included at the end of the thread. https://twitter.com/codepodu/status/1156070363249295361 

Dheeraj Kumar@codepodu

Thread. I fell victim to a @Truecaller UPI scam this morning. @npci_npci @upi_npci.

Pratik Sinha

@free_thinker

Many reviews on playstore alleging the same behavior by @Truecaller app as alleged in the thread above.

View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter
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A number of Truecaller users have reported this bizzare UPI-related issue on Twitter as well as in the reviews section in the Google Play Store, fearing that the app is accessing personal data and banking information. As of now, this issue seems to be affecting some Android users only and it’s possibly because of some data-related permissions that have been granted to the app unwittingly.

It is unclear whether the bug is affecting all users on the latest Truecaller update for Android, but we urge users to either not update their app to the latest version or uninstall the app until the company fixes the issue.

Update: Truecaller has issued a statement about the issue. Here is what the company says: “We have discovered a bug in the latest update of Truecaller that affected the payments feature, which automatically triggered a registration post updating to the version. This was a bug and we have discontinued this version of the app so no other users will be affected. We’re sorry about this version not passing our quality standards. We’ve taken quick steps to fix the issue, and already rolled out a fix in a new version. For the users already affected, the new version with the fix will be available shortly, however, in the meanwhile they can choose to manually deregister through the overflow menu in the app.”

 

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