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Viral video claims to show kid scanning FASTag to steal money. Here’s the truth

The viral video appears to show a child scanning the FASTag with his smartwatch while wiping the windshield of a car.

June 25, 2022 / 11:50 AM IST
A viral video claims to show a kid stealing money by scanning a FASTag

A viral video claims to show a kid stealing money by scanning a FASTag


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.

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.

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IAS officer Awanish Sharan was among those who re-posted the video, asking if it is true.


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.”


The official Twitter handle of Paytm also flagged the video as fake and said it was spreading misinformation.


These claims were backed by independent fact-checkers like Mohammed Zubair of Alt News, a leading fact-checking service.

Zubair said the video was scripted.


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.


Several other experts and business leaders raised doubts about the authenticity of the video.

Vedant Birla noted that it was not possible to steal money like this as “Highway scanner are working on different bandwidth of RF which unbreakable.”

Sanya Jain
Tags: #FASTag
first published: Jun 25, 2022 11:48 am
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