Tips for Safe Online Financial Transactions  

The country is moving towards Digital India. There are many benefits of going digital. Along with advantages, it also has its disadvantages. Many incidents of online financial fraud keep coming to the fore from across the country. With the increase in digital transactions, the incidents of financial fraud have also increased.

Many people fall into the trap of scammers. If you have also been a victim of online fraud, then you can get your money back by following some things. You also need to take immediate action on it.

                                                                                                                                  Subas Tiwari

The sooner you take action, the higher the chance that your money will be returned to your account. Many times people do not understand in this situation what they should do and money gets out of hand. If you become a victim of an online financial scam, inform your bank immediately.

If money has been deducted from your account, then you should file a complaint about it within three days. You can complain about this at https://www.cybercrime.gov.in/ or by visiting the local police station.

If you take timely action regarding cyber fraud, then you will not suffer any kind of loss. If you have not shared the OTP, then you will get the refund within 10 days. If you fall victim to this scam, then inform the bank about it in writing and keep a copy with you as well.

The Union Home Ministry has issued a national helpline number for filing complaints of online fraud or cybercrime. This number is – 1930 (earlier 155260). If you are the victim of any such accident or crime, then call this number immediately. You can file a fraud complaint on this number.

Options for reporting cybercrimes on the portal

Report Crime related to Women/ Child – Under this section, you can report complaints pertaining to online Child Pornography (CP), Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) or sexually explicit content such as Rape/Gang Rape (CP/RGR) content.

Report other Cybercrimes – Under this option, you can report complaints pertaining to cybercrimes such as mobile crimes, online and social media crimes, online financial frauds, ransomware, hacking, cryptocurrency crimes and online cyber trafficking.

What kind of information would you provide to report complaint?

There are two options for filing a report on www.cybercrime.gov.in: (i) Report Crime related to Women/ Child and (ii) Report Other Cybercrimes. In case of “Report Crime related to Women/ Child”, there are two ways of registering your complaint:

Report Anonymously – You can report crimes related to online Child Pornography/ Rape or Gang Rape (CP/RGR) content anonymously. You do not need to provide any personal information. However, information related to the complaint should be accurate and complete for the police authorities to take necessary action.

Report and Track – Under this option, fields marked with a red asterisk (*) are mandatory. It is important that the police authorities receive accurate and complete information related to the complaint. Therefore, you should provide required information such as your name, phone number, email address, details of the complaint and necessary information supporting the complaint.

Initially, register yourself using your name and valid Indian mobile number. You will receive a One Time Password (OTP) on your mobile number. The OTP remains valid for 30 minutes only. Once you successfully register your mobile number on the portal, you will be able to report the complaint.

You can use “Report Other Cybercrimes” option available on the portal to report other cybercrimes such as mobile crimes, online and social media crimes, online financial frauds, ransomware, hacking, cryptocurrency crimes and online cyber trafficking. You are required to register yourself using your name and valid Indian mobile number. You will receive a One Time Password (OTP) on your mobile number. The OTP remains valid for 30 minutes only. Once you successfully register your mobile number on the portal, you will be able to report the complaint by selecting appropriate category and sub- category.

Information considered as evidence while filing complaint related to cybercrime

It is important to keep any evidence you may have related to your complaint. Evidence may include:

  • Credit card receipt
  • Bank statement
  • Envelope (if received a letter or item through mail or courier)
  • Brochure/Pamphlet
  • Online money transfer receipt
  • Copy of email
  • URL of webpage
  • Chat transcripts
  • Suspect mobile number screenshot
  • Videos
  • Images
  • Any other kind of document

 Tips for Safe Online Transactions

  1. Never disclose your net banking password, One Time Password (OTP), ATM or phone banking PIN, CVV number, expiry date to anyone, even if they claim to be from your bank. Also, never respond to mails asking for above details which seem to have received from your bank.
  2. No bank or its employees will ever call or email you requesting for your net banking password, One Time Password (OTP), ATM or phone banking PIN, CVV number, etc. Such cases should be immediately reported to your bank.
  3. Always use strong passwords and prefer separate ID/password combinations for different accounts to prevent anyone from guessing them.
  4. Periodically change passwords of your online banking accounts.
  5. To make passwords strong, use alphabets in upper case and lower case, numbers and special characters. Do not use passwords such as Jan@2018, admin@123, password@123, your date of birth, etc.
  6. Always use virtual keyboards while logging into online banking services. This is specially adhered in-case you need to access net banking facility from a public computer/ cyber café or a shared computer.
  7. Do not make financial transaction over shared public computers or while using public Wi-Fi networks. These computers might have key loggers installed which are designed to capture input from keyboards and could enable fraudsters to steal your username and password.
  8. Always remember to log off from your online banking portal/ website after completing an online transaction with your credit/ debit card.
  9. Always delete the browsing data of your web browser (Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox etc.) after completing your online banking activity.
  10. Always be sure about the correct address of the bank website and look for the ‘‘lock’’ icon on the browser’s status bar while visiting your bank’s website or conducting an online transaction. Always be sure ‘‘https’’ appears in the website’s address bar before making an online transaction. The ‘‘s’’ stands for ‘‘secure’’ and indicates that the communication with the webpage is encrypted.
  11. Login and view your bank account activity regularly to make sure that there are no unexpected transactions. Report any discrepancies in your account to your bank immediately.
  12. Keep your bank’s customer care number handy so that you can report any suspicious or unauthorized transactions on your account immediately.
  13. It is easy for cyber criminals to send convincing emails which appear to be from your bank. Don’t click on the links provided in such emails even if they look genuine. They could lead you to malicious websites.
  14. Whenever you receive a credit/ debit card from the bank, make sure the letter is not damaged and it is sealed properly. In-case, there are any signs of tampering with the package, please notify your bank immediately.
  15. Make sure to change the PIN of credit/ debit card after receiving a new card from your bank. The PIN can be changed online by visiting your bank’s website or at your nearest ATM machine.
  16. Always ensure that credit or debit card swipes at point of sale are done in your presence to avoid cloning/unauthorized copying of your card information. Do not let the sales person take your card away to swipe for the transaction.
  17. Take extra precaution while typing your password/PIN so that no one sees it. Try to cover the key-pad with your other hand while you type your PIN to avoid the number being picked up by someone monitoring CCTV footage.
  18. Register your personal phone number with your bank and subscribe to mobile notifications. These notifications will alert you quickly of any suspicious transaction and the unsuccessful login attempts to your net banking account.
  19. Always review transaction alert received on your registered mobile number and ensure that your transaction is billed according to your purchase.
  20. Keep an eye on the people around you while transacting at an ATM. Make sure that no one is standing too close to you while you transact at an ATM.
  21. It is necessary that you keep your PIN secret and close your transaction completely before walking away from the ATM machine. If there is anything suspicious, cancel your transaction and walk away immediately.
  22. Enable international transaction option on your credit card only when you are travelling abroad. Always ensure to disable international transaction option on your card upon return to your country.
  23. Fraudsters may call your family members posing as hospital staff and may request for money transfer saying that you have met an accident and you are in urgent need of money. This could be a spam. Before entertaining any such request, contact your family member to confirm their whereabouts and check authenticity of the phone call.
  24. Check for latest updates of your smartphones operating system if you are using your mobile phone for online banking. Do install an antivirus as well and keep it up-to date by enabling the automatic update feature.
  25. Always ignore an advertisement if it claims that you can earn money with little or no work or you can make money on an investment with little or no risk. It could be a scam. These offers seem too good to be true, and you may end up losing money.
  26. Always use familiar websites for online shopping rather than shopping by searching products on search engines. Search results can be misleading and may lead to malicious websites.
  27. Avoid using third-party extensions, plugins or add-ons for your web browser as it may secretly track your activity and steal your personal details.
  28. Always verify and install authentic e-wallet apps directly from the app store on your smartphone. Do not follow links shared over email, SMS or social media to install e-wallet apps.
  29. Do not save your card or bank account details in your e-wallet as it increases the risk of theft or fraudulent transactions in case of a security breach.

Always type the information in online forms and not use the auto-fill option on your web-browser to fill your online forms they may store your personal information such as card number, CVV number, bank account number, etc.

The increased usage of internet services and smartphones has made social networking one of the most popular online activities. Social media enables users to connect, communicate and share information, photographs or videos with anyone across the globe. Some of the popular social media platforms are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, Snapchat, Tinder, Hike, WeChat, Tumblr, etc.

The penetration of social media is continuously increasing worldwide. The tremendous growth in use of social media platforms/ social networking platforms has provided a fertile ground to cyber criminals to engage in illegal activities.

Here are some of important steps you should take to protect yourself and your information while using social media platforms:

  1. Do not accept friend requests from strangers on social networking sites.
  2. Do not trust online users unless you know and can trust them in real life.
  3. Do not share your personal information such as address, phone number, date of birth, etc. on social media. Identity thieves can easily access and use this information.
  4. Do not share your sensitive personal photographs and videos on social media.
  5. Share your photos and videos only with your trusted friends by selecting right privacy settings on social media.
  6. Immediately inform the social media service provider, if you notice that a fake account has been created by using your personal information.
  7. Always use a strong password by using alphabets in upper case and lower case, numbers and special characters for your social media accounts.
  8. Do not share your vacations, travel plans, etc. on social media.
  9. Do not allow social networking sites to scan your email account to look for your friends and send spam mails to them without your consent or knowledge.
  10. Always keep location services turned off on your devices unless necessary.
  11. Do not announce your vacations, travel plans, etc. on social media. Criminals can use it as an opportunity for theft, etc.
  12. When chatting with someone online and you feel suspicious about your chat partner, try asking some unrelated scientific or mathematical questions. If it does not answer or acknowledge the question, it may mean that you are chatting with an automated computer bot.
  13. Do not use public computer/ cyber cafe to access social networking websites, it may be may be infected/ installed with a key logger application which will capture your keystrokes including the login credentials.
  14. Many social networking sites prompt you to download third-party applications that lets you access more pages. Do not download unverified third-party applications without doing research about its safety.
  15. Do not hesitate to report, if someone is posting offensive and abusive content on social media.
  16. Do not share or forward unverified posts/ news on social media forums. These may contain fake news or contain sensitive information which may mislead people.

Citizen Financial Cyber Frauds Reporting and Management System (For Delhi Only)

Steps for reporting of financial cyber frauds:
  1. Any victim of financial cyber fraud can dial helpline number 1930 (earlier 155260) or report the incident on National Cybercrime Reporting Portal (cybercrime.gov.in).
  2. A bank or financial intermediary or payment wallet can also report financial cyberfraud through the above-mentioned modes.
  3. The complainant must provide the following information in case incident is reportedon helpline number:
  • Mobile Number of the complainant
  • Name of Bank/Wallet/Merchant from which amount has been debited
  • Account No./Wallet Id/Merchant Id/UPI Id from which amount has been debited
  • Transaction Id
  • Transaction date
  • Debit card/Credit card number in case of fraud made by using credentials of Debit card/Credit card
  • Screen shot of transaction or any other image related to fraud, if available
  1. After reporting of complaint/incident, the complainant will get a system generated Log-in Id/acknowledgement number through SMS/Mail. Using the above Log-in Id/acknowledgement number, the complainant must complete registration of complaint on National Cybercrime Reporting Portal (www.cybercrime.gov.in) within 24 hours. This is mandatory.
  2. On receipt of complaint, the designated Police Officer will quickly examine the matter and after verification report to concerned Bank/financial intermediary or payment wallet, etc., for blocking the money involved in the financial cyber fraud.
  3. Thereafter, due action as per law will be taken in each case by Police/Bank/Payment wallet/Financial Intermediary.
  4. Use of this facility will help a victim of financial cyber fraud in retrieving the money and help police in identifying the cybercriminal(s) and take legal action as per law.

Source courtesy: www.cybercrime.gov.in

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