Keeping yourself safe from digital frauds

Mrin agarwal, Finance educator and money mentor

Digital frauds are on the rise. Through my sessions, I have come across so many instances of fraud and the length that fraudsters are going to is really amazing.

Recently, an elderly person received a call from a person pretending to be her bank manager. The fraudster called her to help her renew her deposits. He had all the information about her deposit, which had matured and was asking for account information to renew the deposit. I routinely get calls offering me help in redeeming my credit card reward points. 

In continuation of my earlier article on digital transactions, I would like to highlight that digital frauds are also making us have less. 

The KYC Scam

 You get a call asking you to update KYC and offering to help you do it online. The scamster will then ask you to download a tool like Anydesk that will allow him access to your phone. This is, supposedly, to guide you on how to complete the KYC. However, the scamster is actually gaining access and recording whatever you are doing on your phone like typing in the id/password of your banking or UPI account.

Google Search Scam

People often search for customer care numbers on Google. Fraudsters post fake numbers through fake websites resembling the original website and gullible people fall for the trap and may give away sensitive information.

RBI/IT scam

You may get a mail or SMS informing that RBI/ IT dept. is asking for some details. RBI will never ask for any personal information of any individual.

Whatsapp Scam

Fake offers from large e-commerce companies, coupons or free products are the most common things offered through WhatsApp. In most of the cases, you are required to pay some basic amount or tax portion to qualify for the offer. People fall for these offers and provide their personal information to take advantage of this incredible offer.

Credit Card & Bank Scam

Miscreants target individuals posing as bank representatives and inform them that their debit/credit card is blocked and they can help reactivate it. Or they may provide some special offers on the credit card. Usually, they will ask for sensitive financial information for the above.

Receive Money Scam

While using payment apps, there is an option to receive money as well. Instead of paying you money, swindlers would use this option to confuse you into paying money to them.

Service Scam

Scamsters call pretending to be from a service provider and scare people into believing that something is wrong with their product. A recent case was of miscreants posing representatives of Microsoft, calling to fix a problem with the computer or providing free virus protection.  

Protect yourself

Remember that RBI, your bank or any service provider will never call you. In case someone does call, always tell them that you will call back. Do not google search the customer care number. Go to the concerned website and take the customer service number from there. Then call back and check for any information/ offer. Remember not to disclose any personal information like PINs and passwords. Do not download any apps that give access to your phone or PC to another person. Procedures to update KYC are very simple and if you are confused, call the authorized call center number to take help.

Ensure you have transaction alerts in your accounts. This way you can act quickly if a fraudulent transaction has taken place. Go in for two-factor authentication wherever possible. This is the OTP that you receive to complete the transaction even though you would have logged in. Even if a hacker has access to your login credentials, they cannot get access to the OTP.

Generally banks and other financial institutions have maximum transaction limits for security reasons. See if you can do the same in all your financial accounts.

Be Cautious, Be Safe.

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