Many of us would have been there. We wake up in the morning and check our messages and see that ₹20,000 has been spent on your credit card in a random city. Such cases of bank fraud are becoming all too common in India. According to the RBI, fraudsters are finding new ways to defraud the gullible public through various ingenious methods.
RBI has published a brochure on the common modus operandi used by fraudsters. The book has been divided into three parts – Parts A and B list commonly observed modus operandi and precautions against fraudulent transactions relating to banks and non-bank financial companies (NBFCs), and Part C explains general precautions and digital measurements. hygiene measures to be taken by the public.
While you may already know some of these tricks, here’s a look at some of the methods scammers use according to RBI:
Fraud on online sales platforms
Fraudsters pose as buyers on online sales platforms and are interested in sellers’ products. Many fraudsters pretend to be defense personnel stationed in remote locations to gain trust. Instead of paying money to the seller, they use the “request money” option through the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) application and insist that the seller approves the request by entering the UPI PIN. After the seller enters the PIN, the money is transferred to the fraudster’s account.
Scams using a screen sharing / remote access app
Fraudsters trick the customer into downloading a screen sharing app. By using such app, fraudsters can monitor/control customer’s mobile/laptop and access customer’s financial credentials. Fraudsters use this information to perform unauthorized fund transfers or make payments using the customer’s online banking/payment applications.
Frauds by compromising credentials on results via search engines
Customers use search engines to get contact details/customer service numbers for their bank, insurance company, Aadhaar update center, etc. These contact details on search engines often do NOT belong to the respective entity but are made to appear as such by fraudsters. Customers may end up contacting unknown/unverified contact numbers of scammers displayed as bank/company contact numbers on search engine. Once the customers call these contact numbers, the impostors ask the customers to share their credentials/card details for verification. Assuming the fraudster is a genuine ROE representative, customers share their security information and thus fall prey to fraud.
QR code scan scam
Fraudsters often contact customers under various guises and trick them into scanning quick response (QR) codes using apps on customers’ phones. By scanning these QR codes, customers can unknowingly authorize fraudsters to withdraw money from their accounts.
The mobile charging port can also be used to transfer files/data. Fraudsters use public charging ports to transfer malware to customers’ phones connected to them and take control/access/steal sensitive data such as emails, SMS, saved passwords, etc. . from customers’ mobile phones (Juice Jacking).
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