Every one of us has heard that infamous story in some or the other form where a Huge amount of money, was fraudulently withdrawn from a bank account. Whether the incident happened with a Relative or a friend or even oneself, the story is almost always the same, where just the creativity and Social Engineering skills of the Perpetrator is different. In almost every Consumer fraud, the perpetrator first gains the interest and attention of the victim, by either ‘impersonation’ or ‘inducing fear’, and then gains their confidence as well, which leads to him duping the victim by misusing this confidence. The situation has become so worse that it has entered the pop culture and the Mainstream media Industry through the popular web series on Netflix, ‘Jamtara’. While this blog isn’t intended to review the show, one has to admit that it really does great a job of explaining the modus operandi and the background of the Offenders and why Police fell short of Catching them. Taking the discussion on this Issue forward, this blog aims to provide a Few tips of how one can protect themselves in Case of such Potential Consumer or Financial Fraud.
- Never share your OTP
This tip is probably the most important of all the advice which one needs to adopt, in order to protect their hard-earned money. A bank will also often these messages, warning all their customers that no employee will ever call them up, asking for an OTP in any case, be it for KYC, unblocking the debit card or any other reason. One has to understand that an OTP acts a final gateway between an Individual’s bank account and the money in that bank account. This option is only available to verify and reassure the identity of the customer who uses the said Bank account. Any person asking for such an OTP is attempting to impersonate the owner of the said Bank account to get the money and no reason or logic to get the same is an Excuse good enough to justify the same, as such Impersonation is against the Law.
- Never share the UPI pin or scan a QR code to receive an amount
While this seems like a piece of fairly common and basic advice, it nevertheless is very important. The Perpetrator will often ask to send One’s UPI pin along with their UPI ID either on a call or through entering the same on a Form, in order to receive a particular amount. One needs to understand that a UPI pin is absolutely not required to receive any amount and Nobody can ask for such a pin either. One should also keep in mind that a Perepator will often send a photo of their Wallet/ UPI QR code, on WhatsApp, which can often appear automatically on one’s gallery and recent pictures. One absolutely does not need to scan or select this picture in any case through any app and enter their UPI pin after scanning it, in order to receive any amount of money, as it would lead them to actually losing the money from their bank account, which is linked with said UPI.
- Never search for Customer care Numbers on Google
One should never search for any customer care or official Phone numbers of any Organisation on any Search Engine. The Links which appear in these searches are often optimized for Appearing on the top of Search Engines and deceive people. The naive victims often call these numbers of these first few links or enter their phone numbers on these links to receive a call. This often leads them to fall prey to these perpetrators, which impersonates an Employee of such Organisation and calls them up for fixing the issue or helping them in one or the other way. One should always look or find these Contact details from the official Mobile Applications/Websites of these organisations and nowhere else.
The lists of these precautions is not an exhaustive one, however, all of these Advice or precautionary measures majorly revolve around staying alert, careful and vigilant about every Interaction with a Website and Individual Which Involves a financial Transaction. While Online Banking and Transactions have made our lives a lot easier, one can never be too careful.