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Lost money to bank fraud? Know how scammers can dupe you in different ways


In the past three to four years, digital payment modes have seen much traction as UPI transactions via phone have become more accessible. However, this has also led to many scammers using tech-related gaps and fool consumers in many ways. Scamming has become extremely easy with fraudsters luring consumers with fake offers. We list some methods used by fraudsters to fool people.

Phishing/Vishing: Scammers create a phishing website with URLs similar to a legitimate website, such as a bank’s website. These links are distributed via SMS, email, instant messenger, etc. Users mistake the URL for the legitimate URL of the website and enter security credentials such as the PIN, passwords, OTP, etc., which fraudsters collect and utilise.

Murari Sreedharan, CTO of BankBazaar.com, said, “The scammers may reach out over the phone pretending to be bank employees, insurance agents, government officials, etc., and may pressurise or trick you into revealing confidential and sensitive information. They may cite your name or date of birth to win your trust and say that they require this information as an emergency measure to stop a transaction, prevent your account from being blocked, get a discount, avoid a penalty, etc.”

Unknown/unverified mobile apps: Sometimes, phishing attacks involve app links instead of websites. Clicking on these links results in downloading unknown or unverified apps of dubious origins that look similar to authorised apps. Such unverified apps can change permissions and give complete and unrestricted access to the device to fraudsters.

“At times, the download links can be to screen-sharing apps that allow scammers to monitor or control the device remotely and gain access to confidential financial credentials. They can then access your device to initiate and complete transactions on the compromised device without your permission,” said Sreedharan.

Collection request scams: Scammers may use the collection request option on UPI to scam people. The usual way is to convince people that they need to approve the collection request and provide their UPI PIN to receive money, usually citing that it is a debt reversal or refund.

Loan fraud: Among the many banking frauds that entrepreneurs become victims of, the most common is loan fraud. Ajeet Kumar Singh, founder and CEO of SAVE Solutions, said that loan frauds usually include impersonation of reputed lenders, or the offers come with a sense of urgency while luring people to avail of loans on minimal conditions. You can easily avoid becoming a target of loan fraud by thoroughly researching the lender. This includes checking that they are an RBI-registered NBFC or Bank. Reading reviews about the lender, checking their websites, and ensuring they have good reviews or taking loans only through recommended institutions is also a good idea. Fake lenders often extract an upfront fee. Genuine lenders do not ask for any advance before providing a loan. “Ensure that you read the fine print to avoid any unexpected deductions,” said Kumar.

ATM card skimming/Quick Response (QR) codes scam: Fraudsters often instal skimming devices like a dummy keypad or a small / pinhole camera in ATMs and take customers‘ debit card data. The scammers then use the data to create a duplicate card and withdraw money from their bank account

Besides, scammers can contact you for banking facilities and trick you into scanning a QR code using the mobile application installed on your phone. As you scan such code, you may unknowingly authorise the scammers to withdraw money from your bank account.

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