As people get retired, they focus more on living a leisurely life and often become unaware of financial risks knocking at their door. There was a time when people had to visit bank branches to access their bank balances, but now the entire banking system has shrunk to a mobile phone. You can access all the banking operations using applications on your mobile phone, through the Internet or SMSs. Often senior citizen people are not aware of the safety measures they should take while using the mobile banking and they are easily trapped by the fraudsters.
Let’s check out the modus operandi used by fraudsters for financial fraud against senior citizens.
Types Of Financial Frauds Against Senior Citizens
Mrin Agarwal, Founder Director, Finsafe India Pvt. Ltd points out different types of financial fraud that senior citizens should be aware of:
- SMS received that amount is past due or the account is blocked
- Calls for redeeming credit card points, KYC renewal etc. in which confidential data like PINs are taken and used to transfer money
- Emails from regulators/banks stating amounts due
- Impersonating websites sounding similar to genuine websites
- UPI fraud where the scammer asks for money instead of paying money
“Senior citizens are often not conversant with digital modes of transacting. They feel worried about transactions being ignored and do not want anything to go wrong. Sometimes they may not understand what needs to be done and hence go by what fraudsters are telling them”, adds Mrin Agarwal.
In a recently reported case, a fraudster siphoned off money from a senior citizen’s bank account using the Aadhar biometric. Reportedly, fraudsters got the Aadhar number of the victim and they copied their biometric details to execute the fraud.
How Senior Citizens Can Avoid Financial Fraud Against Them?
Senior citizens need to be more educated before using new-age banking and payment tools. They can avoid financial fraud by taking precautions like restricting their daily banking transaction limits, never sharing the bank’s OTP with anybody, not sharing the KYC details with an unknown person and immediately reporting the bank if they feel any unscrupulous activity in their bank account. Senior citizens can report an online fraud case to the cybercrime helpline by dialling 1930.
Despite all precautions, if you have been frauded, you will need to reach out to the bank and raise a complaint within 3 days. The first step should always be to contact phone/online customer care and get the account blocked. How much money can be recovered depends upon the type of fraud and what information has been given out by the customer. Usually, bank accounts and financial instruments like debit and credit cards are insured against financial fraud. If the customer has taken adequate precautions and initiated steps to prevent the fraud and reported the incidence to the bank within 3 days of occurrence, the bank reports the case to the concerned insurance company to recover the loss of the customer.
The author is an Independent Financial Journalist