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In the recent years, there has been a significant rise in financial frauds and scams all over the world. Cases of money laundering, identity theft, cybercrime, banking frauds, loan misappropriation have become a staple occurrence in the Indian and global financial system. These activities expose the laxity in the system and the common man often becomes the target of these fraudsters. As per a recent statistics, the banking frauds in the Indian public sector undertakings have amounted to Rs.25, 775 crores in the financial year of 2017-18. The age of the internet and globalization have accelerated the occurrence of these swindles. Many times, recession and the collapse of the financial system has been a direct result of these scams. With a constant online presence, digitalization has left the common man vulnerable to different kinds of rip-off like identity theft, email or online scams. How does the scam take place? There are several ways in which these illegal activities take place.
An email asking for help to release inheritance.
Requesting a business partner in foreign shores.
Impersonating as an employee from a reputed financial organization.
Declaring that the recipient has won a huge lottery.
Pop-ups that advertise expensive gadgets for free if the person provides his/her personal details. This is a phishing scam where the hacker is trying for an identity theft or installing a malicious software on the user’s device. Tips to avoid these frauds and have a safe online presence:
Never share personal and financial details over the phone or email.
Do not respond to calls that ask for personal and financial information.
Never share ATM pin, internet banking password or any details of bank accounts
Nobody can win a lottery in which they have not participated.
Do not click on any hyperlink or download software from pop-up windows.
Install an antivirus to safeguard the computer from malicious software and viruses. The antivirus program should be updated frequently.
Never transfer funds or share debit/credit card information to the person who claims to be a long-lost relative.
Use secure payment gateways for online payments.
Never make payment for any sweepstakes as they do not ask for payment upfront.
Use a caller id to identify incoming calls. In case the number shows up as private or unknown ignore or block the call.
Have tough passwords. Most people use passwords that are related closely to their personal life. Use passwords that contain a mix of uppercase, lowercase and special characters and are not related to any personal events.
Use secure websites that have a lock symbol. This symbol indicates that the site is encrypted and is protected against hackers.
Never sign blank checks and put a double line on the upper left corner of the check. This line ensures that the drawer cannot withdraw cash.
Never share the OTP to an unknown person or caller. Make sure that the OTP has been generated for the transaction initiated by you.
Check with your bankers immediately when you receive a call for personal details from a person claiming to be an employee of that bank. No bank asks for personal details through call or email. Bottom line: These tips can help to safeguard a person from commonly found scams and frauds. Financial institutions should implement internal controls and severe checks at every stage of the process as a safety measure to protect their data and clients from potential financial risks as the world is changing into a digital playground.
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