New Delhi: Online shopping, ticket booking, reservations etc. are becoming increasingly popular all over the country. A lot of people prefer the convenience of booking and cancellation from the comfort of home. Since online shopping offers easy returns as well, people tend to shop online more. With these advancements, phone and online scamming have been on the rise lately.
Online scammers have been targetting people over phone or internet in the past couple of months. Three people scammed a woman to the tune of Rs 82,000 last year in November when she was trying to claim Rs 107 refund for a ring she returned. In another recent incident, a Lucknow woman was duped of Rs 40,000 when she was trying to cancel movie tickets online and claim a refund.
A recent ToI report brought another such incident to light. A Navi Mumbai man lost Rs 1 lakh to e-fraudster while trying to get Rs 500 refund. As per the report, he recharged his SIM card with Rs 499. However, when his SIM was not recharged, he contacted the network provider for a refund. He then got a call from someone who was posing as ‘telecaller’.
The fraudster asked the man to create and mobile wallet. He even got the victim to divulge his bank details. Following this, Rs 99,998 was debited from the victim’s account in two fraudulent transactions. The culprit phished the victim by promising Rs 499 refund.
Here’s how you can avoid such frauds:
1. Be suspicious of any e-mail or text message containing urgent requests for personal or financial information. Most financial institutions and credit card companies normally will not use e-mail to confirm an existing client’s information.
2. Contact the organization by using a telephone number from a credible source such as a phone book or a bill.
3. Always look out for the padlock Padlock and the URL address when you log onto net banking and mobile banking or digital wallets.
4. If you receive an email claiming to be from any bank that appears to be suspicious, do not click on any links it provides or reply to it. Instead, simply delete it. Avoid embedded links in an e-mail claiming to bring you to a secure site.
5. Never disclose via text message any personal information, including account numbers, passwords, or any combination of sensitive information that could be used fraudulently. Use caution if you receive a text message expressing an urgent need for you to update your information, activate an account, or verify your identity by calling a phone number or submitting information on a web site. These messages may be part of a phishing scam conducted by fraudsters to capture your confidential account information and commit fraud.
6. As a general rule, be suspicious when receiving any unsolicited incoming communication/phone call asking your personal or financial information or asking to update them on a site. Contact your bank directly through official channels available to verify the authenticity of those calls.
7. Do not share any confidential information through suspicious emails, websites, social media networks, text messages or phone calls.
8. If you received one of these suspicious e-mails and you unwittingly provided personal information or financial information, follow these steps:
Step 1 – Contact your bank/financial institution or credit card company.
Step 2 – Contact your local police.
Step 3 – Always report phishing. If you have responded to one of these suspicious e-mails, report it to the bank.
9. Do not share your credit card PIN and net banking password with anyone. Never, under any circumstance share your OTP with anyone. Do not divulge credit card details to anyone over the phone or in person.
Worth mentioning here is that scammers also randomly dial phone numbers using an automated system or a real human being pretending they are calling on behalf of a bank/financial company asking you to update information regarding your, bank accounts, card details etc. because there is a problem on your account or they may also say that they have made some upgrades into their system.
Smishing is another form of criminal activity. Smishing victims receive SMS messages which might ask a recipient to register for an online service — then try to sneak a virus onto the users’ device. Some messages warn that the consumer will be charged unless he/she updates his/her personal or financial credentials in a Web site that then extracts such information and other private data.