We get usual messages on phone or email such as “Congrats! Your personal loan has been approved up to INR 1 crore. Some may ignore and those who click on the link attached out of curiosity, will land on a web page resembling to their own banks and ask for personal financial information. Once you have done that, the loop is complete. Your money is gone, you would have just experienced online bank fraud.
The increase in digital transactions in India has also led to a corresponding increase in the number of people losing their money online. As per an RBI report, a total of 2,059 cases of cyber fraud were reported in 2017–18 amounting to Rs 109.6 crore. As more and more Indians enter the digital payments space, it is becoming increasingly important to have more awareness on issues related to online bank fraud.
There are multiple ways you can lose money online like Phishing where some royal prince will send an email from foreign country having some issues in exchanging money and has chosen you for help in exchange to share the money and asks for your bank details post that they will disappear with the money. It’s difficult to give an exhaustive list of such online frauds but some common ones are Card Skimming: This is fairly straightforward. A small electronic machine, called a skimmer is installed in a Point of Sale (POS) machine or an ATM. When you use your card, the skimmer copies information about your card, which helps to steal money from your account. Another form is Vishing which is similar to phishing and the interaction happens over the phone. The most common scenario involves someone pretending to call from your bank, already having some of your banking details and asking for your personal banking information. This is often coupled with threats about your debit or credit card being blocked if you don’t give up the information. Giving up your personal information can lead to your money being stolen. The other form is Fake Bank Apps: These are android apps which have your banks logo, and an almost similar user interface to the original app. Sometimes cashback and other rewards may also be offered to entice people to download these apps. This makes it easy for fraudsters to steal customer information at a large scale and then extract money from their account.
Online fraud is going to remain an issue, and as the volume and value of our digital payments system increases, so does the threat of online bank fraud. It is not really possible to eliminate bank fraud totally, but you can reduce its density by being careful. Simple things like installing an antivirus on your phone to protect from malware, or never sharing any banking information with anyone who you don’t trust can make a big difference.