Cyber security awareness month is celebrated worldwide in October to safeguard digital identities and transactions. As online payments become more popular, people have become more vulnerable to cyber fraud and scams like impersonation, phishing and identity theft.
Awareness is one of the ways to protect yourself from cyber fraud. Here’s a look at some common fraud techniques and how you can safeguard yourself against them.
With the introduction of contactless payment through WiFi-enabled debit/credit cards, customers can make transactions of up to Rs. 2,000 without entering a PIN or swiping the card. If your contactless payment card is stolen or lost, there are chances of unauthorised transactions taking place.
Immediately report and block lost or stolen contactless payment cards and report any cyber fraud activity to the authorities.
Fraudsters try to access your SIM card or duplicate it because all your accounts are linked to your registered number. They often call you pretending to be from your mobile operator and try to convince you to opt for SIM upgrades or benefits. It has become one of the most common types of cybercrimes nowadays.
Never share SIM card credentials or your port out code received from TRAI with callers you do not trust. If you face constant network issues or have a problem receiving OTPs, ensure that your SIM is not duplicated.
Many fake apps and websites claim to provide instant loans and may defraud you. Never download any unauthorised or third-party instant loan apps from an unknown source.
Never share personal details or make a transaction on such apps for fraud prevention.
Watch out for red flags like ‘too-good-to-be-true’ offers, limited-time schemes, or fear tactics.
A genuine lender will never offer loans without verifying your documents or asking for payment before processing the loan.
Fraudsters posing as sellers on online classified marketplaces set up fake accounts and listings to lure buyers and steal money. Once they contact a buyer, they often refuse to meet in person and ask for payment via alternate means.
When shopping on one of these marketplaces, verify the authenticity of the sellers and insist on meeting them face-to-face. Never share any personal details online and transact only through secure payment methods.
If your internet connection is not secure, hackers and other cybercriminals can target your device with malicious bugs and malware. These can be used to access your personal and sensitive information and steal data.
To safeguard yourself from such a cybercrime, install recommended software to protect your internet connection and enable regular updates for real-time threat detection.
This type of fraud involves skimming devices, keypad trackers, or pinhole cameras in ATMs to obtain card data.
To protect yourself from it, carefully examine the ATM before using it. Check if the keyboard seems bigger than usual, if the slot where you insert your card looks different or bulky, or if any suspicious device is attached to the ATM unit. Always cover the keypad with your hand while entering your PIN and ensure that no one is present nearby.
Do not click on any suspicious links that you receive via SMS asking you to update your loan-related KYC details. Doing so may result in identity theft or loss of sensitive data.
Official representatives of financial institutions such as banks and NBFCs will never ask for personal information via email, SMS, WhatsApp or phone call.
The introduction of AePS (Aadhaar Enabled Payment System) has led to frauds where biometric data is misused for theft. Fraudsters access the victim's Aadhaar card and clone the linked fingerprint. They use this information to transfer money to fraudulent accounts via biometric machines in banks.
Never share your Aadhaar details with anyone and alert the authorities of any suspicious AePS transaction.
A common scam on UPI apps involves fraudsters sending you a 'Request for Money' message. Upon approving this with your UPI PIN, you may end up losing money.
Fraudsters can also convince you to install apps that allow remote access to your devices through trickery and malicious activities. This way, they can note down your UPI PIN and use it for fraudulent transactions later.
Never share your UPI PIN or other details with anyone, and always double-check before making a payment or answering a request on your UPI apps.
Did you know, a good CIBIL score can help you get a better deal on loans and credit cards?