A video of a young boy cleaning the windshield of a car is making the rounds on social media. It has been claimed that the boy stole money through the FASTag sticker on the windshield using a scanner in his watch.
A Facebook page named ‘BakLol Video’ posted the video, which received over 1.8 million shares as of this writing. The clip amassed over 23 million views in a span of 36 hours. It has been claimed that the boy pointed his watch at the FASTag sticker on the car under the pretext of cleaning the glass. The money was purportedly deducted from the connected Paytm account.
Punjab Kesari shared a video report covering the incident on its Facebook page. Amplifying the video as factual, the outlet advised readers to be vigilant. It racked up more than 2.3 million views at the time of writing.
IAS officer Awanish Sharan also tweeted the video, asking whether it was real. (Archive link)
A few days ago, a similar claim was made by a YouTube channel titled ‘Dostcast’. Posted on June 11, 2022, it made a similar claim about this kind of alleged FASTag fraud (archive link). This clip also went viral on social media.
The clip of the alleged FASTag fraud is widespread on Twitter and Facebook along with other social media platforms.
What is FASTag?
FASTag is an electronic toll collection system operated by the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI). Under this system, the toll tax is deducted via the vehicle owner’s prepaid or savings account using Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology. The FASTag (RFID tag) is affixed to the vehicle’s windshield and allows the toll to be paid directly from the customer’s FASTag account.
A FASTag scanner is located at the toll gates and vehicles passing toll booths on national highways can make cashless payments of the toll tax. In other words, when a vehicle equipped with FASTag crosses the toll plaza, the cashless payment is automatically made through the FASTag system.
Alt News examined the official Twitter account of FASTag’s parent organization, National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), for more information related to the case. The NCP denied the claim made in the viral video, stating that no such incident was possible. It also posted a note issued in public interest.
The note broadly states that the NETC FASTag ecosystem is built on a four-party model including NPCI, Acquirer Bank, Issuer Bank, and Toll Plazas for a successful transaction. A toll plaza is mandatory for the transaction to take place. Without the involvement of these four parties, no transaction can take place. It also mentions that the NETC FASTag operates for Person to Merchant (P2M) transactions only. There is no scope for personal transactions as it does not support Person to Person (P2P) transactions. This means that no one individual can receive any payments via this system.
Please note that there are baseless and false videos circulating on Social media. Do understand the below points:
1. No transactions can be executed through open internet connectivity. pic.twitter.com/yTcNGt8R0c
— NPCI (@NPCI_NPCI) June 25, 2022
Paytm also issued a statement on the issue, calling the viral video fake.
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
Next, Alt News checked the timeline of the ‘BakLol Video’ Facebook page. The two actors featured in this video are named Anubhav Golia and Hrithik Verma. They have made several scripted videos in the past and shared them on the Facebook page.
Following the controversy surrounding the FASTag ‘fraud’ video, ‘BakLol Video’ updated the video’s caption and added a disclaimer. It reads, “This video is scripted and made for social awareness.”
To sum it up, Alt News can confirm that the viral video is scripted and the accompanying claim is false. This type of fraud is not possible with FASTag as it only allows Person to Merchant (P2M) transactions. This means that no one individual can have money transferred to themselves.
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