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Safe Banking Practices to Protect Yourself from Identity Theft

  • Highlights

  • The many ways in which an identity thief can obtain your personal information

  • Staying aware is the key to preventing identity thefts 

  • How to stay safe

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Marketing professional Misha is 30 and vigilant about online frauds. Recently, she was hit by a planned trick that initiated with a text message from a scammer claiming that her debit card details were out of date. The text message had a number and a link. She considered it wise to dial up the mentioned number once, before taking any further steps. The gentleman appeared polite and gave her all the reasons he could to establish that her card would be blocked if she did not complete the formalities. Desperate to keep her card functional, she followed the instruction. Under the pressure to act immediately, she clicked on the link and filled in all her personal and debit card details. She was told that all her money would be moved to a ‘secure’ account and she’ll be sent a new duplicate card. Misha wasn’t aware that she was a victim of identity theft until a few days later, when she called on that number again and found her number blocked. She rushed to her bank and it was there that the revelation stuck her and left her in despair. She lost Rs 3 lakh.

Realising her mistake, she took the following steps immediately:
• Notified her banking institution and asked them to freeze her account/card to avoid any more fraudulent transactions
• Filed an FIR at the local police station and reported the incident at the cyber-crime cell 
• For any such queries visit https://www.bajajfinserv.in/reach-us

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From then on, she made it a point to read more about frauds and scams because they say an ounce of prevention is better than a pounce of cure. She understood what a scammer can do with someone’s personal information:
• Apply for an identity theft loan or open new lines of credit using the victim’s information 
• Apply for credit cards in their name 
• Make unauthorised purchases using the victim’s existing debit or credit cards 
• Use their health insurance to claim medical care
• Rent an apartment, pass a background check, etc., using their identity and financial standing
• Commit other crimes and give out the victim’s details to the police when caught
• Call the victim’s creditors and change their mailing address for your account

Scammers can gain access to personal information in a variety of ways such as stealing records from a business or other sources, obtaining personal and other details by posing as an employer or as Bajaj Finance/Finserv or any other bank/NBFC’s employee, stealing debit card and credit card numbers, stealing wallets, changing of address to divert your mail to some other location, scamming information from users by posing as legitimate businesses or rummaging through your trash. 

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Determined to engage in safe banking practices, Misha had resolved never again to fall for such calls, messages, or emails. This is how everyone can stay protected and ensure not becoming a victim of identity theft:

• Create strong, unique, and complex passwords for every device and account. It must comprise a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols. Change the password once a quarter and never keep it the same for all the accounts
• Enable two-factor authentication on all the accounts that have this facility
• Never give out personal information – especially on emails, calls, or SMSes
• Tear documents such as receipts, bills, or other papers with your sensitive information before throwing them away 
• Choose paperless billing whenever possible
• Carry only what is absolutely required in the wallet and keep the cards and passbooks, etc. at a safe and secure place 
• Use secure websites and check for ‘HTTPS’ in the URL 
• Check the financial accounts often and keep a tab on credit reports/ statements, etc., for any changes you are not responsible for 
• Don’t open attachments, links, or respond to emails from untrusted or unfamiliar sources as they may contain malware 
• Set up alerts on credit card and banking accounts to be notified each time there’s a withdrawal from the account

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

Stay alert, stay safe from online frauds in India.

Savdhaan Rahein. Safe Rahein.

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