Bank Frauds Increasing In India
The fraudsters involved with OCBC bank are arrested by the police in Singapore. To the unversed, this is a SMS phishing scam which targeted OCBC bank customers; police recovered about S$2 million of victims’ money. Nearly 800 OCBC customers lost a combined S$13.7 million to the scammers impersonating the bank via SMS phishing.
What is this bank fraud? And how can we be careful? It’s all the more important amid rising inflation in the country.
Let’s try to decode why and how bank frauds are increasing day by day. One click may cost you very much!
In December 2021, approximately 500 users of Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation became victims of fraud. At least, $8.5 million lost. How did this fraud happen? Customers received a message alarming them that their account might be suspended, unless they click on a given link. The sender address seems genuine and so people click willingly. A website opens and it all feels legit. They ask for net banking details and scammersmisuse this information. Soon after, your savings drop to zero. This is called a phishing scam. In this, a seemingly genuine message with a link to trick your intelligence pops up.
Phishing scams increased amid the pandemic. Links in messages like: KYC expire, car expire, vaccine booking, etc. Taking advantage of already nervous people, these bank scams are executed.
In 2021, more than 83,000 instances of bank fraud occurred according to a report, siphoning $25 billion (1.38 trillion Indian rupees) with only less than 1 per cent of the amount lost recovered. So, we have to be careful in digital India because fraudsters are also increasing in number.
Another method used by scammers is – for an instance, if a customer buys item worth Rs100, you, the seller sees a message receiving Rs200. The customer, then, asks you to return Rs100. In trying to return that money, all your savings get stolen.
How to be cautious? Avoid http and look for https, for secure. Always have anti-virus installed in your phones and computers.Check for spelling or grammar error in the message. Meaning, be alert while reading the phishing message.
What else can you do, if you get caught?
Link, below, is given for reporting cybercrime, you can keep account of what happened. If you are lucky, there is a chance of getting that lost money back.
Many a times, customer care numbers on websites are mentioned wrong. So, when you call, you may be charged on your credit card, debit card, after sharing sensitive information. That is why, every bank recommends using their official website. In case, fraud happens, do report on the cybercrime site.
Next method is a commonly used one: A fake call. Maximum calls claim that you have won car, lottery or entry to KBC. But if you wish to continue, the caller will ask for money first. Naïve people fall into traps and scammer steals all necessary information to get to your account.
And fraudsters keep innovating with changing times. If you get a call from a telecom operator, that your SIM card will be deactivated due to pending bill, will you believe him? You are advised to send 20-30 rupees to re-activate and a link is shared. But then after clicking on the link, you discover 20k-30k is stolen from your account. Such calls may also be claimed from charity. And you, out of innocence, click the link and do away with your savings.
KYC update failure messages also do the rounds, seeking your card information. Fraudsters may also pretend to be calling from income tax department. Like always, you will be asked for bank details. Now, in the name of booster dose, frauds are happening with senior citizens.
What is the solution?
Never share any credential like OTP or CVV with the caller.
Another fraud is happening in broad daylight and you didn’t know. Because of inflation, money sitting in the bank account diminishes in value. Markets are volatile, stocks are randomly surging and plummeting.
We go through so much to get small loan, but high net worth individuals can get loan instantly. Now people are also attracted to instant loan apps. But, out of 1100 such apps, more than half are operated illegally. RBI finds 600 illegal lending apps operating in India.
How are loan apps illegal?
- Lot of prepayment fees, processing fees, or pre-closure fees. These loan apps have costly rate of interest; risk of debt trap is there.
- Acquire sensitive information. These apps also acquire sensitive information, whether or not you get the loan.
- Where the lender isn’t concerned about your payment history. Some complained that loan was approved but money not credited. Still they have to pay EMI.
So, kindly be careful of these new-age apps. In case of fraud, you will have to report to cybercrime and RBI. Chinese-linked apps were involved in such business and government is taking action.
Fraudsters found new way amid pandemic. You receive a video call from unknown number. If you are by your own, lonely, you pick it up and nude images pop on screen. Your video call is recorded and fraudsters blackmail to extort money. In some cases, it is depicted as if you are crying for help (SOS), on social media. Friends lose money while helping. So, avoid unknown numbers.
In worst case scenario, you may consider
- Blocking your social media.
- Communicate with your friends and family about the fake message in advance.
Not only bank money, fraudsters can also trick you to steal policy or mutual fund investments. By acquiring your PAN card details, fraudster can enjoy benefit of your investment. Because, your signature is on PAN card, it can be forged.
Prevent yourself from Loan Scam:
- Check your investments on regular basis
- Do not share your PAN & PAN details randomly
- In case of scam – contact the company you have invested in.
Finally, new credit or debit card have contact less feature enabled, or, Near Field Communication (NFC). You can now use the card without swiping it. It does not need pin, and so, limit for this method of transaction is Rs5,000. Some scammers create receivers and bring it near the card. NFC method is generally secure, but this scam is a possibility. So, do not keep card in the open.
Even if you take precautions and be alert, sometimes fraud can still happen.
Things to Keep in Mind
- NEVER Share OTP with anyone
- Always issue an a/c payee cheque
- Keep your cards safe in a metal case holder
- Never answer a video call from an unknown number
- Apply loan from a legitimate bank/ NBFC
- Regularly check your investments/account transactions
- Customer care number only from the respective company website
- Contact your bank, in case of fraud. You can also reach out to RBI (link to the website below).
03-05-2022 [ Headline image: bankinfosecurity.asia]
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