We cannot stop digital fraud, but we can certainly save ourselves from such frauds. The solution is simple, we need to be aware of who and how one is communicating with us. These digital frauds do not have any specific type, they are now experimented with and implemented in various ways.
Few of the ways through which frauds are done are-
● Fake messages that communicate that the banks require your ATM PIN, debit or credit card details, etc.
● Emails that contain suspicious links
● Messages that prompt users to download unauthorized applications
● Message alerts notifying that the user’s account has been credited, debited or blocked
● Notifications that say a user’s mobile data has been recharged
In this blog, we will help you understand the most common methods used by fraudsters to con users digitally and the right solution to safeguard against them.
The following methods are often used by fraudsters to fool users to pull money from their bank accounts. Fraudsters use the most genuine tone and aim at the user’s pain point (job opportunity, the amount credited, OTT platforms, etc.) that can make them trust the authenticity of the message.
Have a thorough understanding of these methods and get the easiest solution to save yourself from digital frauds-
- Phishing links
Fraudsters fool users by creating third party websites. These websites often seem real and genuine at first look but are actually connected to various fraudulent links. Such websites are presented similar to that of a bank’s website or an e-commerce platform. These websites are then shared with users through SMSs, emails, instant messages or social media platforms.
● Ensure not to click on unnecessary or unknown links
● Delete SMSs, emails, etc., that redirect you to suspicious websites
● Avoid social media notifications or messages that ask you to click on fake, suspicious links
- Unverified mobile applications
In such situations, fraudsters often ask people to click & download applications on the pretext of offering them rewards, cashback, lottery prizes, etc. Such messages are generally circulated in the form of SMSs. These messages, in the beginning, seem genuine and persuade the user to click on such links.
● It is recommended to never click on such links that prompt you to download any unverified/suspicious mobile applications
● Do not click on links that urge you to activate the screen share feature with unknown people
- Online selling platforms
There are chances when fraudsters take the medium of online platforms. They pretend to be buyers on e-commerce platforms and show interest in your products. Once they gain your trust, they request money from you through different UPI applications instead of paying you for your product. Once you fall into the trap and share/enter your banking details, the fraudsters simply pull money from your bank account.
● Don’t enter any password, PIN or other account details to receive money from outsiders
● Opt for a genuine payment application like Paytm to receive or send money
● Connect with your bank in case you find any suspicious activity related to your bank account
- Search engines information
There are situations where users use search engines to get the contact details of a product/ company/ bank/ Aadhaar card service center, etc. In such cases, instead of getting the original details, the user falls into the trap and ends up connecting with the unverified contact information displayed on the search engines. After contacting such numbers, which actually belong to fraudsters, users get trapped and share their card details, login credentials and other banking details. Right when the user shares the information, fraudsters digitally pull the money from the user’s bank account.
● It is advised that if you want to look for the contact details of any official or any other similar information, then you should head to authentic sites only
● Avoid looking for numbers and other details on random sites or pages
● Do not submit any banking information, bank card related details, etc. anywhere on the web
- Online job frauds
Fraudsters have adopted a new way of conning users. They save the banking details and information of the users by creating fake job portals. The victims of such frauds lend onto such fake job websites and often end up providing their vital banking details like bank account number, PIN number, credit/debit card details, etc. to offer some commission in exchange for a job.
● A company that makes genuine hires never asks for any kind of commission from the job seeker. Hence, ensure never to reveal any detail that includes banking information to anyone
- Lottery frauds
Inviting people to claim their lottery amount is another way used by fraudsters to con users. They send emails, messages and make calls to users to inform them about the lottery. Unaware users, on the other hand, provide their banking details, card details, etc. to the fraudsters in order to claim their lottery amount. In many cases, users even send a certain amount to a third party to receive the lottery prize. Fraudsters, then take the leverage of all the banking details and pull away all the amount saved in the bank account. The card details can also be used to perform various unauthorized or unknown transactions.
● Avoid entertaining to notification, SMSs, calls, etc. regarding lottery money
● Never share the banking details with anyone online, either through email, SMS, messages, social media platform, etc.
● Delete or report such emails to cybercrime numbers
- QR scanning
Various methods to cheat users are ideally experimental and this time it’s the QR scanning. Fraudsters trick users on the pretext of scanning QR codes on various payment applications. Once the scanning is done, the fraudsters then digitally withdraw all the money from the user’s bank account.
● Always scan the authentic QR code scanner like Paytm
● Cross-check the amount that needs to be paid, and the screen that reflects all the banking details of the merchant
- Online dating sites
Fraudsters now trick users to join unauthorized or fake online dating sites to gain their banking details. The invitations are often sent to the users through emails, messages or social media platforms.
● Do not join any random site or download any application without searching about it
● Do not reveal any banking details on any random sites and/or expose confidential information
“India saw 229 banking frauds per day in the financial year 2020-21.’- Data from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI)
It becomes easy for fraudsters to con users who are not digitally aware, do not have exposure to such frauds or have never experienced them. A little awareness and responsible behaviour can help one to avoid circumstances where confidential and banking information is being asked.
Following are the instructions that users should follow to safeguard themselves from the above-mentioned situations-
- Do not revert to any SMSs, emails, social media messages that you find odd
- Never open or join links provided by unauthorized sources
- Do not share personal information and banking details with anyone
- Stay in the habit to avoid entertaining people who do not seem genuine
- Do not download any screen sharing applications on your device
- Develop the habit of checking all your recent transactions
- Immediately connect with your bank in case you reveal any banking details unintentionally
- Do not share your banking credentials with anyone over call, message, social media, email, etc.
- Be aware that no authentic firm, company, bank, or any other organization will ask for a special favour that requires you to reveal your banking details. In case it happens, connect with your bank or write an online complaint by visiting https://cybercrime.gov.in/
- You can also report the matter by dialling 155260 or visiting https://cms.rbi.org.in/ to file the complaint
Paytm is a brand that is trusted by millions of users. To keep the trust of millions of users intact, Paytm ensures to follow these measures carefully-
- The Paytm application does not allow users to record the screen or take screenshots
- Paytm application requires users to enable Paytm security shield to safeguard the user data
- Users are also required to mandatorily enter the passcode or use a fingerprint to access the Paytm application
- Users can contact Paytm by visiting the Contact Us 24*7 section on the application via http://m.p-y.tm/care
|Common methods used by fraudsters|
|Fraudsters create a third-party website that seems genuine, such as a bank’s website or an e-commerce platform. These links are generally circulated by them through SMSs, social media, emails or instant messenger, etc.||Don’t click on unknown links and delete such SMSs or emails immediately to avoid accessing them in future.|
|Online selling platforms|
|Fraudsters pretend to be buyers on an online selling platform & show interest in your product. Instead of paying money, they use the “request money” option through the UPI app and insist on approving the request to pull money from your bank account.||Always remember, to receive money, there is no need to enter your PIN or password anywhere. If UPI or any other app asks you to enter your PIN to complete a transaction, which means you will end up sending money instead of receiving it.|
|Unverified Mobile applications|
|In this case, the fraudsters ask people to download unverified or screen sharing mobile apps on the pretext of completing KYC, rewards, Cashback, etc.||Never download unverified mobile applications from unverified sources. Also, avoid activating the screen share feature with unknown people.|
|This happens in cases when customers use search engines for obtaining contact details of their bank, insurance company, Aadhar update centre and may end up contacting unverified contact numbers displayed on search engines. Once the customers call them, the fraudsters try to ask for their card credentials.||Avoid searching for customer care contact details on search engines. These are often camouflaged by fraudsters. Always consider the official websites of banks / companies to get the required contact details.|
|Fraudsters often contact customers under various pretexts and trick them into scanning QR codes using payment apps. This allows them to withdraw money from the customer’s account.||Be cautious while scanning any QR codes using payment apps. QR codes have embedded account details in them to transfer the amount to a particular account.|
|Fraudsters send an email or make phone calls that you have just won a huge lottery. However, in order to receive the money, you’d be required to confirm identity by verifying through your bank account or credit card on their website from which the data is compromised.||Don’t make payments or share secure credentials for lottery calls or emails. Be wary when you come across such unbelievable lottery or offers.|
|Online Job Frauds|
|To secure the financial credentials of people, fraudsters often create fake job search portals. The victims end up sharing secure credentials of their bank account, credit card or debit card on these websites for registration.||Always remember that a genuine company offering a job will never ask for money. Don’t make payments on unknown job portals.|
|How to Make an Online Complaint|
|National Cyber Crime Helpline Dial 155260
or visit https://cybercrime.gov.in/
|Paytm Payments Bank Dial 1800 120 130
or report via Contact us 24*7 section on app via http://m.p-y.tm/care
|RBI Visit https://cms.rbi.org.in/|