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10 Ways to Safeguard Yourself from Online Frauds

  • Highlights

  • Online frauds are on the rise

  • One wrong click can land you in trouble

  • Awareness about online scams goes a long way in the prevention of it

  • Effective ways to protect yourself from online scams and safeguard your transactions

Online payments and banking systems have made it easy for us, not just to pay and shop from any location, but also complete major transactions and investments digitally. All this can be done from anywhere, anytime in just a few clicks.

However, one wrong click on the web or on your smartphone may land you trouble and cause you financial loss. As easy as online and digital payments are, uninformed decisions and incorrect pressing of a single button could land you straight into the hands of unscrupulous fraudsters looking to catch you unexpectedly and steal your money.

Yet, as the saying goes, knowledge is power. You can make the best utilization of the convenience provided by technology by arming yourself with the power of knowledge. Remember, cyber-attack methods and tools keep evolving with advancements in technology, increasing the possibility of ingenious scams that can be deployed from anywhere across the world. Here are ten important ways to protect yourself from online frauds and make safe transactions online:

1. Use Smart, Verified Apps Only

Mobile apps are great for quick access to a variety of services. But not all apps are secure. Therefore, be mindful of the apps you are downloading on your phone and ensure that they are genuine and verified. Established Fintech players are coming up with counter-measures to prevent banking frauds in India through smartphone apps.

2. Browse Secure and Authorized Websites Only

Online Banking Fraud, Financial Scam Alert, Fraud Protection

However professional a website might look, one should avoid making online payments unless they are sure it is genuine. Customers should avoid non-secure websites completely and browse only those sites that contain "https://" preceding the “www” and domain name in the URL. Beware of imposter websites whose domain names spell or sound similar to well-known, popular brand websites.

3. Use Secure Internet Connections

Signing in your phone to an unsecured public Wi-Fi connection can also be a problem as it becomes accessible to cyber fraudsters on the prowl. They can monitor your activity and gain access to your computer or smartphone to commit fraud. Therefore, if you are going to make any payment online or share any sensitive personal banking information, be sure to do it on a secure private connection.

4. Be Vigilant When Using the Card

You should never let your card out of sight when using it to make payments at a shop, restaurant, or for receiving home delivery. Check whether the card reading POS machine is genuine or a card skimmer in disguise that steals all the data to steal your hard-earned money. Enable the international transaction option only when abroad, as it removes the two-step verification required for payment in India.

5. Update Your Computer and Mobile Security

Online Banking Fraud, Financial Scam Alert, Fraud Protection

Keep your computer and phone's security software, web browser, and operating system updated. When asked to set passwords, avoid easy-to-guess passwords and set a strong one that has a combination of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. Do not use the same password for every site you sign in to. Change your password for vital payments at regular intervals before your security gets compromised.

6. Never Share Sensitive Personal Information

Never share your personal information with a stranger or any third party posing as a representative of a bank or financial institution. Do not reveal your personal information or financial details over the phone call, SMS, or email. Bank authorities do not call you for such sensitive information at any point of time. Never share any sensitive personal details on social networking sites either. Never transfer funds without confirming the identity of the person asking such details.

7. Do Not Respond to Unsolicited Calls, SMS or Emails

Online Banking Fraud, Financial Scam Alert, Fraud Protection

We all get fraudulent emails, messages, and phone calls that try to trick us into disclosing financial details. Fraudulent callers may pose as an employee with some bank or financial institution and ask you for your personal information, citing various reasons like card or service expiry, unused reward points, free cashback, etc. Once they get your personal bank details, they will use it to draw money from your account without your knowledge. Sometimes, the fraudster may pose as a person known to you or your friend and ask you to transfer funds immediately citing some ‘emergency’. Do not entertain these communications.

8. Don’t Respond to Calls asking for ‘Remote Access to Your Computer’

Unless you have contacted an IT company to fix your home computer, anyone who tries to gain remote access to your personal computer is very likely a scammer. Often, these types of scammers will cite reasons such as updating software or anti-virus for gaining access and then locking down your computer, demanding a ransom to unlock it for you, and it might not even stop there. Once you give them your payment details, they can do what they wish with it. The best thing that you can do to any request for remote connections to your computer is to hang up on them without saying a word.

9. Don’t Bite the Bait

Before clicking on any link, picture, or attachment sent to you, ask yourself whether it is relevant to you or whether it has been sent in response to your request or application. Most of the time, these communications from unknown contacts are fraudulent. They lure you into clicking on those links and steal your information to transfer money to their accounts. Other forms of bait could be being “randomly” selected for a prize of a contest that you did not even sign up for, or attractive online offers that are too good to be true.

10. In Case the Security of Your Bank Details Has Been Compromised…

If your debit card or credit card details have been lost, misplaced, or unsecured, you must get the card blocked immediately by using the bank's app or by directly contacting your bank. Do not stress yourself out or make any wrong hasty decision. Timely blocking of the card can prevent the extent of financial loss.

For any such queries, visit https://www.bajajfinserv.in/reach-us

Stay alert, stay safe from online frauds in India.

Savdhan Rahein. Safe Rahein.

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