06/29/2022

Techie Bro.

Travel & Technology

OTP & digital fraud. Here is what you should do.

Payment Gateway/Digital Wallet OTP Scam

A common OTP scam involves the scammer calling an individual and pretending to be interested in your product or service. They agree to pay a certain amount immediately as confirmation, request for payment gateway or digital wallet information followed by the OTP. Once the fraudster has obtained access to your account, they can initiate a number of transactions to clean you out. Smaller frauds often go unreported.

Fraud on used product selling apps

Frauds on such websites/applications have become very common these days. Here, fraudsters pose as trusted sellers, take the money and vanish without delivering on their promise. In the past, many fake sellers have posed as armed forces personnel – simply because of the trust and respect that the uniform commands.

Phishing or email scams

Phishing is one of the most common types of online fraud where fraudsters create a website that looks like an existing genuine website of a bank, e-commerce website or search engine. These can easily steal your personal information. Phishing involves fraudsters sending hoax emails and hyperlinks with the intention of stealing the user’s banking and other sensitive financial information. Most of these emails have attachments or links that take you to a phony website where you are asked to enter your UPI code or bank details. Remember, clicking on such links can also lead to your system being infected with viruses or malware.

Work from home scam

A lot of people are now looking for flexible jobs. This is a type of fraud where youngsters are getting duped too. Fraudsters promise individuals an online job opportunity and high salaries just for working a few hours a day or completing tasks in a given time. As a job seekers, you will be asked to register online by paying a fee to avail the opportunity and receive the ‘job kit’. After the money is deposited, these fraudsters disappear without a trace.

Tax frauds

This kind of fraud pops up mainly during tax season. Here taxpayers are asked to reply to SMSs and WhatsApp messages sent by fraudsters where they ask for bank details and other sensitive information so that you can get a big tax refund.

Credit card reward point fraud

Credit cards are being offered by almost every bank and a recent report suggests that there are over 60 million credit card users in India. Since many may not be aware of how credit card rewards work, fraudsters use this system to their advantage. They could offer assistance in redeeming reward points and they typically try to create a sense of urgency by stating that the offer will end soon or points are about to expire. Some cardholders enter a state of panic and end up sharing card details with the fraudsters.

Frauds due to use of Unknown/Unverified Mobile Apps

Fraudsters gain access to your mobile device/laptop/desktop once you download an unknown or unverified mobile app. These application links are generally shared through SMS / social media / Instant Messenger, etc. The links are masked through authentic-looking names but in reality, you may be redirected to download an unknown or remote access application. Once the malicious application is downloaded, the fraudster can gain complete access to your device and steal all information.

There is a good chance of protecting your money from fraudsters if you act quickly. Here are some measures you can take to protect your account from fraudsters.

Tips to safeguard yourself from OTP fraud.

  • Never disclose your financial information to anyone
  • No authority or institution asks for any like OTP, PIN or CVV over the phone
  • Be very cautious if someone unknown asks you to install screen sharing software/apps such as AnyDesk, TeamViewer
  • Be very cautious and vigilant while using links embedded in an email or SMS, especially where it requires entering financial credentials
  • Clicking these links can corrupt and compromise both your phone and the OTP without you realizing it. Some apps may even initiate fake transactions to phish you into giving away the same data
  • While making a payment and entering OTP, be sure to double-verify the amount that is going to be debited as well as the name of the merchant receiving the payment. If the source doesn’t look credible/authentic or the amount is different, cancel the transaction immediately
  • Receiving money never requires you to scan a QR code. If a buyer asks you to scan something, it is most likely a scam
  • Do not conduct any sensitive or bank (net banking) transactions from unprotected or public devices and networks
  • Always use a virtual keyboard on public devices because keystrokes can be captured through compromised devices using keylogger software
  • Do not fill Google forms provided by prospective buyers or sellers
  • Do not share copies of your cheque book and other KYC documents with strangers (unless you can verify their identity and KYC is required)
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