Advisory for Citizens to safeguard themselves from Cyber Frauds during COVID19.
There has been no reprieve from cyber fraud incidents even during the lockdown period. Fraudsters are using various new methods and techniques to get the personal details and sensitive banking details of citizens and proceeding to defraud them of money.
With the lockdown in place, many of the citizens have moved to online services in even greater numbers, relying on tech for tending to their banking requirements, essential services, food and groceries shopping, and not to mention their entertainment. This very fact has been exploited by fraudsters to the greatest extent to defraud people of their money.
WHAT INFORMATION IS CONFIDENTIAL AND SHOULD NEVER BE REVEALED?
To actually steal money from your account or e-wallets, fraudsters need information which they will try to get from YOU. As long as you do not give this information to them, you should be safe. Some pieces of critical personal information and Banking information should never be revealed when you are online, since that can be used to gain access to your accounts and steal money from your account. This information includes-
• Your credit/ debit card number
• CVV numbers
• Any passwords
• Expiration date on any of your cards
• Any OTP received
• UPI/ E-Wallet Pin Number
• Net banking/ Mobile banking customer ID
Keep all of this information very safe with you. Never reveal this to anyone, not even people claiming to be bank employees online.
HOW ARE FRAUDSTERS TARGETING YOU?
Fraudsters are always looking for new ways to gain access to your critical confidential data. Which is why YOU need to be very careful online, and make sure you are never giving out your critical data to anyone online. While there are too many modus operandi of fraudsters, there exist several common themes amongst the cyber frauds. Most of the Frauds involve-
• Tricking the victim to install unknown applications on his phone which the fraudster can use to gain access to it.
• Tricking the victim to click on suspicious links so that he is directed to a phishing website, where his credentials can be stolen.
• Tricking the victim to fill a fake online form, which can resemble the forms of actual banks and online financial services. The victim fills the form details, which on submitting are received by the fraudsters.
• Tricking the victim to reveal their password/ OTP/ UPI pin, usually by posing as bank employees, or as employees of a particular private or government organization.
Fraudsters contact the victims through calls, SMSes and emails which are made to look like communication from a legitimate source. However, on closer inspection, you can see that there exist several differences in the original ID and the ID used by the fraudsters.
Fraudsters are also leaving their number on various places in hopes someone will contact them for them. Fraudsters are leaving their numbers on fake listings online, or on ecommerce sites as well. They can also leave their numbers on a google listing which is returned as a search result. People contact these numbers thinking they are genuine and then might have to deal with the scammers trying to steal their data and their money.
With the advent of UPI, fake UPI ids, fake UPI bar codes and fake Money requests are done by fraudsters to steal money.
WHAT CARE SHOULD YOU TAKE TO AVOID BEING A VICTIM OF CYBER FRAUD
Citizens should always be cautious on the internet, particularly when dealing with financial services online. Citizens are also advised never to blindly trust any scheme or online offers. Some of the guidelines citizens need to strictly follow are-
A. General Guidelines
1. Never reveal your critical information like OTPs, CVV, Debit/ Credit card number, passwords, UPI Pins to anyone online. Not even legitimate bank employees. Remember, Banks and financial institutions never ask for you OTP/ passwords/ Pin numbers over the phone or SMS.
2. Never click on the links given in suspicious emails and SMS. Never call on the number given in the suspicious emails and SMS.
3. Never install the apps asked by unknown persons.
4. When contacting the customer care of a bank, always ensure the number is taken from their official website or application as opposed to random internet pages. This will insure that you are contacting the correct helpline number.
5. Always ascertain the identity of the person you are speaking to. Verify if they seem knowledgeable enough to answer your questions and can give sufficient evidences backing up their claims
B. Website related Guidelines
1. Always check the URL of the website on which you are about to enter your details. Always check if the website URL address starts with ‘https://’ and has the ‘closed lock’ symbol adjacent to it. These are signs that the website could not be a phishing website.
2. NEVER fill forms asking for your critical information like UPI Pin or OTP numbers. Beware of google forms and similar form websites which the scammers can use to get your confidential information.
C. UPI and E-wallet related guidelines
1. NEVER do a Rs.1 transaction or any ‘pre-order charges’ or any ‘Advance charges’ transaction over the UPI or e-wallet app.
2. No wallet or payment service does KYC over calls. KYC is done at specific centers or at the customer’s doorsteps.
3. Always check the address to which you are making the payment.
4. Always remember that you do not need to provide OTP while RECEIVING money.
5. Doubly check the amount which is being deducted from your bank before making the payment.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF YOU HAVE BEEN/ SUSPECT YOU HAVE BEEN A VICTIM OF A CYBER FRAUD?
If you suspect that you have been the victim of a fraud, please contact your bank immediately. They will be able to stop any further amount being debited from your bank account.
Furthermore, lodge a complaint at your nearest police station.
Please read the following RBI guidelines carefully to understand if you qualify for a refund from the bank
• Take additional care if you have seniors in the home who are dealing with technology. Prevalence of fraud occurring against senior citizens is higher per capita. Ensure that you are helping them with any online transaction or online service.
• Do not fall for any online offers giving any subscription to streaming platforms, free phone recharges, any sorts of gifts online. You may end up losing money.
• Fraudsters very often use social engineering tactics to gain your sympathy and then defraud you. Be careful of unknown online persons pretending to be in trouble or in a crisis, or claim they are from the army. If you do not know the person, always exercise caution.
We urge all citizens to be aware and informed so they can prevent themselves and their near ones from being the victims of a cybercrime.
Stay Safe. Stay at home.
|| STAY CYBER SAFE ||