Financial Fraud is now an organized sector. In past, i wrote various posts on how to avoid credit card frauds and safety of banking transactions. Daily the tricksters are finding new ways of financial fraud. The victim is caught unaware. The biggest problem is that victim does not know what to do in case of financial fraud. In a recent case, one of my clients became a victim of financial fraud through net banking. He went to local police station to register FIR. The police official refused to register his complaint/FIR. When the victim insisted, the police registered NC. The police told him to follow up with the bank. In most of the cases, the value of financial fraud is low therefore, no one takes it seriously. Until unless the value is in lacs neither bank nor police will swing into action. Let me be honest that local police officials are not equipped to handle such cases.
The victim approached the bank and the attitude of bank staff was even worse. They told that bank follows 2-factor authentication for all financial transactions as per RBI guidelines. A financial fraud is impossible and some family member of the victim is involved. My client called helpline of the bank and they told to visit the branch. Bank was not willing to register a complaint regarding the same. It is quite a sad situation.
Before i proceed, let me clarify that as an individual we should be aware of basic steps in such situations. The majority of financial fraud are online only. I came across handful cases of offline fraud i.e. withdrawal through ATM or unauthorized swipe at POS terminal. In the case of online financial fraud, the victim should approach Cyber Crime Cell/Branch of your area. On the other hand, if it is offline fraudulent transaction then you should approach a local police station. In both the cases, you should submit written complaint with bank reg financial fraud. If the financial fraud is done using debit or credit card then you can submit Letter of Dispute or Dispute Form with the bank. Some banks receive this letter only for a credit card. In the case of credit card, you can also request for temporary credit from bank till the dispute is resolved. It will not impact your CIBIL Score. Therefore, you need not pay till bank or cyber cell completes the investigation and the dispute is resolved
Through this post, i would like to share some of the new tricks used by tricksters to trap potential victims. This post is a continuation of my previous posts, Tips to avoid Credit Card Fraud and Banking Transactions – Are they really safe. I request readers to go through these posts before we check out new tricks for financial fraud.
Financial Fraud – Beware of 5 New Tricks from Tricksters
1. Duplicate SIM: If the trickster has your basic account details, then the only hurdle is to enter OTP to complete the transaction. Trickster can also change your email address or mobile banking password through OTP verification. In recent past, most of the states introduced a facility to file online FIR. It is being misused by fraudsters. Trickster will file an online FIR of missing mobile phone. The mobile no will be yours. Based on the FIR copy, they will get new SIM issued from the mobile service provider. Now financial fraud is a cake walk. Though, it is not that easy. It requires meticulous planning.
In the example mentioned above, the bank told my client that he has entered OTP to complete all the transactions. When i asked, has he noticed any unusual activity few days before financial fraud. He told me that he went out for a family holiday in Goa. His mobile stopped working in Goa and a local shop told that it is SIM problem. He thought his SIM has gone bad. When he returned Delhi, he applied for new SIM and it was working fine.
I got the complete story. The trickster was tracking the victim from quite long. Victim posted on social media platform that he will out for a family holiday. Someone was following his movements closely. When he was away, trickster got duplicate SIM issued and the victim was not able to do anything as he was away. Moreover, he did not receive SMS alerts as the mobile no was with the trickster. He came to know only when he checked his balance through net banking.
Therefore, key learning is that if your mobile stop working then you should immediately report to customer care and get it blocked. Secondly, never share your traveling details on social media platforms.
2. Mobile for Repair: Sometimes, the mobile suddenly stop working or there is a complete blackout. We tend to visit a nearest local repair shop. A lot of us must have installed mobile banking application or saved/stored card details on mobile apps. It is suicidal in nature. In one of the case, police found that employee of mobile repair shop was behind the financial fraud. You should remove your SIM and external memory card before giving mobile for repair. Always handover your mobile to the authorized service center of the mobile company. Lastly, install all banking/financial applications only on external memory card.
3. Information in Public Domain: Normally we share a lot of information on social media platforms like mobile no, date of birth, email address etc. Though there are privacy settings but i observed that in most of the cases this info is not masked. Don’t take me wrong but someone in your friends list can easily trap you in a financial fraud as he must be knowing you address also. Bank account no can be easily found or if you are businessman then it is freely available with your clients. Now, in this case, it is very easy to link all the information to commit financial fraud. You should always use two email id’s and two mobile no’s. One for a public use and the second one should be personal. Also, you should not share all the details on social media platform.
4. Courier Agency: This was new kind of fraud highlighted sometime back. Normally, a courier agency delivers the credit card. This information is available with a lot of people in the courier agency. Under this modus operandi, someone will call you on behalf of courier agency after few days. He will tell complete details about credit card delivery. He will say that he forgot to take your signature on one of the receipts that are submitted to the bank. Now the bank is demanding the same. He will come again and will tell you to bring envelope in which credit or debit card was delivered. The victim will not doubt even 1% that he is being trapped. Then he will say that card no is mentioned on the envelope and that portion is damaged while opening the envelope. He will insist on showing a credit card or debit card so that he can note down the CC no. Now he will note card no and remember expiry date and CVV no. This card will be used for international transactions. For international transactions only these three details are required. It will be misused after few months and no one can catch tricksters.
5. Cookies from dubious sites/KeyPress Logger: Unknowingly we visit a lot of dubious sites that install some malware or cookies on our laptop/PC. The biggest culprits are porn sites or counterfeit software sites that provide cracked version. The hacking has reached to that stage that trickster will install software that will log all the key presses on your laptop. It is as good as handing over complete control of your laptop/PC. Therefore, whenever you visit any dubious site or porn sites, kindly clean your laptop before doing any financial transaction. A key press logger is the biggest threat and you will never come to know about the source of financial fraud.
Words of Wisdom: Short and sweat, we are responsible for safety and security of our financial transactions. RBI has put a lot of safeguards to secure financial transactions. Nowhere in the world, we have so many restrictions. If you observe any unusual activity, please don’t take it lightly and report to concerned authorities.
Copyright © Nitin Bhatia. All Rights Reserved.
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