How safe your money is in the era of cyber frauds?

The entire world is connected through a web of the internet, from our social media accounts to our finance, everything is done by internet.

The contemporary world depicts that it’s not we use technology, we live on it. Ever since the evolution of technology, we have been reliant on it and every innovation makes us more and more dependent on it. The entire world is connected through a web of the internet, from our social media accounts to our personal finance, everything is done by internet. We have adopted a certain ignorant behavior towards the safety concern for digital payment, and this behavior of ours has costed us in several ways which we are not even aware of.

Online fraud is increasing and spreading rapidly like cancer in all geographies and industries, despite all the safety measures. There are financial institutions which keep introducing new safety measures to prevent such scams. Most of the times these charlatans find a weakness to exploit those measures. With growing number of online transactions in the country we are now becoming more and more prone towards such scams. The rapidly expanding e-commerce industry and increasing number of e-wallet are other key factors which have now become the breeding ground for such frauds.

The year 2017 has turned out to be a nightmare for Indian banks. As per the recent report released by RBI in Parliament over 25,800 fraud cases involving about Rs179 crore were reported in 2017 (up to 21 December). These incidents have raised many questions about the safety of online banking, ATM, and e-wallets in the nation. These numbers have created an alarming situation in the country about safety measures towards such transactions. If we understand their trap and follow few basic security measures then we can surely prevent ourselves from such traps.

Identity theft has emerged as one of the most generic forms of such scams, in such cases you are left bankrupt in just a few minutes. Identity theft occurs when your bank details are leaked to an impostor and he wrongfully uses your confidential information to rob you. In such cases, you won’t get any help from bank either as it’s your responsibility to keep your personal data safe. And you will be held accountable for leaking your classified information such as your PIN, Credit/debit card details, etc.

In Identity theft, imposters reach you under many disguises sometimes in form of some urgent mail or some bank representative. They portray themselves as a bank employee who will call you regarding some problem related to your bank account and will later ask for your confidential data to get the access to your bank account.

Always remember to keep your personal data private and never share it with any anonymous being posing as a bank representative. Always destroy any piece of paper that has any details of your identity. These two are basic measures that will undoubtedly prevent you from such scams. Sim swap is another form of such scams which proceeds after identity theft. In this imposter will use your identity to issue a new sim card on your number. Your phone number will give them a direct access to creating OTP (One Time Password) to facilitate the further transactions by using the stolen information.

Sim card swap is a very serious matter as the imposter gets all the access to our bank account just by posing as a genuine bank account holder. With every coming day, they come up with new traps and techniques to rob us. Their fraud techniques only work on the loopholes left by our careless behavior. If we want to stop them, then we must adopt a cautious attitude towards our personal data and bank accounts. If we regularly keep a track of our bank account and activate message notification on mail and mobile then we can surely keep our bank accounts safe from such charlatans.

SMShing is another form of alluring innocent people to financial frauds. Fraudsters send messages to customers, offering them for prize money, lottery and job offer etc. and requesting them to share their bank account credentials to pursue that prize or lottery. The unaware customer logins to the website suggested by them to pursue the prize and gets trapped. Later they use the details shared by the customer to make false transactions.

Always remember these crimes begin where our casual behavior starts, never get allured by such prize money or lotteries as they are greed techniques to get your bank credentials. Always ignore such messages to be on a safer side.

Trojan is the latest fraud technique where imposters send random emails to numerous unsuspecting peoples. These are malicious emails designed to infect the computer and hack personal data when the user makes an online transaction, which is later used to rob us.

Our safety relies on our hands, so never download any random mail or even open such emails. Such emails can be a trap for you so think cautiously and smartly while downloading any file. Such scams have happened before and will happen in future. With the digitization and increasing number of mobile phones we are getting prone to such risks which demand strict safety measurements but until then we need to take care of ourselves.

Ashish Bahukhandi Founder and CEO, Apps Discover

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