Covid-19 pandemic has increased the dependency of public at large on the digital mediums, which are helping the economy run during these difficult times on the one hand, but on the other hand, have led to other sets of challenges, as many of us are not adept with the frequent use of digital means in our daily lives. The sudden attack by Covid creating such unprecedented situations, has resulted in a surge in adoption of contactless payment modes as well as the growth in e-commerce trends, while work from home has set the highest ever standards throughout the world. Not only this, mobile entertainment and education has also taken a wide shift from completely physical to entirely digital even in the tier 2 and tier 3 cities with further penetration in rural areas.
While there is a huge adoption of digital payments instruments, the financial frauds have also multiplied. Incidents of cheatings have always been happening previously as well, but with the fast adoption of such easy and convenient mediums by the public at large, without being fully updated of its nitty-gritties, scammers are also getting the golden opportunity of preying on the money of unaware people, making innocents lose their trust in these digital means.
Various types of frauds taking place, which one needs to be aware of, are listed here, along with the protective measures to be adopted:
Incident 1 - SMS Frauds: One gets the SMS in his/ her mobile phone number to open the given link. This message may be informing or asking anything, say, to update KYC details of your wallets or to update your banks details, or to update your nominee etc. and the moment one clicks on it, online phishing takes place, resulting in loss of hard earned money of an individual.
Save Yourself: Do not click on any such links being sent through messages to you. No bank or wallet seeks your details through messages like this.
Incident 2 - OTP on Call: This is a very common method where at least every one of us must have received one or more calls requesting to share the OTP or asking to perform certain actions. The fraudster calls by saying, he is calling from the bank and you need to update your details in your account, or you or your father had bought some insurance policy and now it has matured, you are now getting INR 5 lakh for which you need to share a few details with him. He may also tell you that, you must have received a message in your wallet saying “Pay” so click that “Pay” because you have won the amount and by clicking on that “Pay” button the prize money will be credited to your bank account. By telling all this on the call, he takes all the bank and card details followed by asking OTP and the moment it is shared by you, the money vanishes from your bank account or the moment you press the “Pay” button on your wallet, you lose whatever money is in your account.
Save Yourself: Do not provide such details to any calls. Banks or wallet companies never ask for your OTP, net banking, mobile banking user Id, password, customer Id, CVV, UPI PIN or any other bank or card details. If your details are being compromised, immediately call the bank and get your card blocked.
Incident 3 – Lottery eMails: On the daily basis, people receive tens of mails claiming that you have won lotteries of lakhs of rupees and need to submit a few details. Sometimes it also seeks an application amount to be credited to a certain bank account.
Save Yourself: Do not download any attachments from such mails. Do not click to any links therein. They may be malwares to hack your mobile and laptops and may steal all the data from it. Do not fall for such traps of winning a lot of money through such lotteries.
Incident 4 - Fake Apps and Unsafe Websites: Fake apps asking donations in the names of prime minister, chief ministers or other renowned personalities and financial transactions at the unsafe websites also bring the customers to the risk of being defrauded as many of such apps and websites leave the digital footprints i.e. trail of your transaction details, even of the details which are not supposed to be known to anyone else other than just you.
Save Yourself: There may be URL links exactly similar to your bank’s URL “but not the same” so be aware while you access any such links from your end or directly from Google. Do not give anyone access or permission to remotely control your system. Spam warning from the payment apps must not be ignored at all. Transact at the trusted websites and download only the verified applications in your mobile or any other device. Take necessary precautions to keep your hard earned money safe.
Incident 5 - Investment Schemes: One receives numerous messages, calls, e.mails and even in-person individuals meet innocents suggesting investment schemes, chit funds, multi-level marketing arrangements, insurance schemes etc. which promises to give an unimaginable amount of returns to the investors. These scammers also tell innocent people the stories of fulfilling all their dreams in just a few months.
Save Yourself: Please do your research while investing anywhere, and before trusting anyone, as most of such schemes are scams and one ends up losing money in it. Check if the scheme is registered with the proper regulatory authority like RBI, IRDA, SEBI etc. or it is coming through anyone which is registered financial institution or body under the regulators. Also, take other necessary precautions from your end before proceeding to invest your money in anything.
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