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How To Save Your Hard-earned Money From Online Frauds?

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Edited By: Namit Singh Sengar

Last Updated: January 09, 2023, 11:50 IST

According to Reserve Bank of India, there are some typical modus operandi being used by fraudsters for banking scams. (Representative image)

According to Reserve Bank of India, there are some typical modus operandi being used by fraudsters for banking scams. (Representative image)

Online financial frauds: Never share your account details such as account number, login ID, password, PIN, UPI-PIN, OTP, with anyone, including bank officials.

With the reach of mobile phones and increasing penetration of the internet, life of a common person has become efficient to a large extent. One such advantage digitisation has brought is the seamless nature of financial transactions. However, the instances of online frauds have also seen a considerable rise with new types of scam being discovered from time to time. Recently, a Delhi-based man reportedly lost Rs 50 lakh to cyber fraud and that too without sharing any OTP.

Later, it was found that the scam was a SIM switch fraud, where fraudsters used the phone number to access a victim’s accounts by exploiting the two-factor authentication and verification.

Now the concern of a common user is how to protect their money from such frauds. Fraudsters attempt to get confidential details like user id, login / transaction password, OTP, debit / credit card details such as PIN, CVV, expiry date and other personal information.

According to Reserve Bank of India, some of the typical modus operandi being used by fraudsters for banking scams are –

Vishing: In this scam phone calls are made pretending to be from bank / non-bank e-wallet providers / telecom service providers in order to lure customers into sharing confidential details in the pretext of KYC-updation, unblocking of account / SIM-card, crediting debited amount, etc.

Phishing: Spoofed emails and / or SMSs designed to dupe customers into thinking that the communication has originated from their bank / e-wallet provider and contain links to extract confidential details.

Remote Access: By luring customers to download an application on their mobile phone / computer which is able to access all the customers’ data on that customer device.

Misuse the ‘collect request’ feature of UPI by sending fake payment requests with messages like ‘Enter your UPI PIN’ to receive money.

Fake numbers of banks / e-wallet providers on webpages / social media and displayed by search engines, etc.

What can you do to protect your money?

  1. First and foremost, never share your account details such as account number, login ID, password, PIN, UPI-PIN, OTP, ATM/ card details with anyone, including bank officials, however genuine they might sound.
  2. India’s largest public sector bank, SBI, has suggested safe digital banking practices, which ask customers to be vigilant of such practices. It says any phone call / email threatening the blocking of your account on the pretext of non-updation of KYC and suggestion to click a link for updating the same is a common modus operandi of fraudsters.
  3. The bank says always access the official website of your bank / NBFC / e-wallet provider or contact the branch.
  4. Do not download any unknown app on your phone / device.
  5. Transactions involving receipt of money do not require scanning barcodes / QR codes or entering MPIN.
  6. Use only verified, secured, and trusted websites / apps for online banking.
  7. File a complaint on the National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal.
  8. If you receive an OTP for debiting your account for a transaction not initiated by you, inform your bank / e-wallet provider immediately.
  9. Do not have common passwords for e-commerce / social media sites and your bank account / email linked to your bank account.
  10. The password used for accessing your email, especially if linked with your account, should be unique and used only for email access.
  11. Do not be misled by advice intimating deposit of money on your behalf with RBI for foreign remittances, receipt of commission, or wins of lottery.
  12. Regularly check your email and phone messages for alerts from your financial service provider. Report any un-authorised transaction observed to your bank / NBFC / Service provider immediately for blocking the card / account / wallet, so as to prevent any further losses.
  13. Secure your cards and set daily limits for transactions.
  14. Do not courier your credit card.
  15. Do not share or lend your credit card to anyone.

In several cases, many customers are not aware of the procedures to be done in case of financial fraud. In that case, it is crucial to keep the customer service helpline number handy with you, so that you can contact them immediately and avoid misuse.

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