As Online Fraud Cases Rise, Learn How To Safeguard Yourself From Financial Crimes

Amid growing cases of online fraud in India, your digital security is of paramount importance. Make sure you know the safeguards while doing digital transactions

Outlook Money
July 29, 2023
As Online Fraud Cases Rise, Learn How To Safeguard Yourself From Financial Crimes

In yet another cyber fraud case, a Hyderabad-based 62-year-old woman was duped of around Rs 2 lakh, the Times of India reported on Friday. The victim wanted to know how to encash a cheque from her bank and called on the customer care number she found online.  


Apparently, the number belonged to a fraudster who sent her a link to fill in her bank details and share the one-time password (OTP). The woman did as told. But to her surprise, after some time, she received a message that Rs 1.8 lakh had been withdrawn from her account. She was duped. 

According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), cyber fraud cases in India rose from 3,466 in 2017 to 10,395 in 2021 across all the states and union territories, indicating the rapid rise of such cases in the four-year period.

While digitalisation has made life easy for various services, including financial transactions, it has also increased the risks of digital fraud. Against this backdrop, seniors must be aware of the pitfalls and learn to safeguard themselves before the fraudsters strike them. It may also require them to learn the basic technology tools and increase their fraud awareness to avoid cyber traps.

Here are some basic tips to avoid a fraud: 

Do Not Open Unknown Emails And SMS Links: The Hyderabad woman fell into the trap as she was unaware of the dangers that lurk from unknown email and SMS links. The fraudster successfully manipulated her into believing he was an actual bank representative. Apparently, she was unaware of the basic safety rule of not sharing OTPs that banks often highlight.

Thus, verifying the authenticity of the online site or links is vital before any transaction.

By rule, they should avoid accepting instructions from any unknown person, even those claiming to be from the customer care department, before satisfying themselves with all the security-related questions that may arise. Typically, the fraudster, on any counter question or probing, hangs up the phone or leaves the communication mid-way. So, to be safer, avoid entertaining unknown or unauthenticated calls, email addresses, or website links sent by SMS. Always visit the bank’s website for net banking services and financial transactions.

Do Not Share Information: No matter how helpful the executive from the bank or other financial institution may appear, do not share personal information, such as bank account details, card number, password, or one-time password (OTP).

Keep Record Of The Communication: When you talk to an executive on the phone for information about a product, operate an account, invest, or loan, etc., keep a record of the communication through calls, emails, or SMSes. It will help capture the culprit if fraud happens.

Use Secure Network: While using any site containing your personal or financial information, avoid using public Wi-Fi networks, as they may pose a security threat to your data. When you open your bank site or do financial transactions, do it from a secure personal network.

Sign-Out From The Website Or App After Use: Whenever you log in to any website, make it a habit always to sign out once you are done with your work, especially from your banking app or any other financial apps to keep your information from reaching other people’s hands.

What Should You Do If You Have Been Cheated? 

It can happen to anybody. If the fraud happens to you, inform the police or its cybersecurity cell immediately. You may use the cybercrime helpline number 1930 to file a complaint.

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