Working hard to earn money that you strategically budget so that you can save and invest while meeting all your expenses takes a lot of effort. Hence, it’s important to make sure that you equip yourself with some basic knowledge to ensure that you can keep that money safe and not fall for online banking frauds. Online banking frauds like phishing are on the rise and you never know when you are caught off guard. Thus, it’s essential that you become aware of the common ways con artists are running online banking fraud these days and safeguard your money.

Types of online banking frauds

Scammers use multiple methods to obtain sensitive customer information including login IDs and passwords, debt card PINs and CVVs, date of birth, Aadhaar and PAN card information, and more. They often do so by pretending to be a bank representative and use cutting-edge technology to hack customer databases.

Hence, if you get a call from someone saying they are a bank representative at the bank you have a savings account and they know your name, number, and account number, you may not doubt that they are a scammer since they have this information. This is how scammers fool customers into thinking that they are communicating with their bank. There are various ways scammers to this:

1. Phishing

In this approach, you will receive an email that will appear to be from your bank. It will contain a link that will take you to a fake website or page that is designed to look like the official bank page where you will be prompted to enter details such as login ID and password.

What to keep in mind: These kinds of emails will often urge you to take immediate action and create a sense of urgency. They will also have grammatical mistakes and spelling errors. The sender’s email may look like it’s from a legitimate source but if you look carefully, you may realize it is fake.

2. Vishing

This is a type of phishing technique but instead of emails, here it’s through voice, for instance, receiving a phone call. This can be more difficult to spot than phishing because the tactics used by the scammer are often sophisticated in making you believe that they are in fact a legitimate bank employee.

What to keep in mind: No bank employee will ever ask you for personal details such as your card PIN or OTPs. If they do so or urge you to take immediate action by threatening you with consequences like account freezing, simply hang up. You can then check the official phone number of your bank and contact them to confirm if the prior call was legitimate and if your account is really facing any issues.

3. Smishing

This is a phishing technique that uses SMS or text messaging to trick individuals. Similar to phishing and vishing, these text messages may appear to come from legitimate sources and may urge you to take immediate action and click on a link.

What to keep in mind: If you receive an SMS from a private number, you should not entertain it. No bank employee will ever reach out to you casually from their own phone number. Similarly, on WhatsApp, banks and other financial institutions have business accounts through which they reach their customers.

Final words

Simply taking the step to open a new bank account or having a bank savings account is not enough. You need to operate it mindfully while saving yourself from such scams that could cost you all your savings. Remember, if you ever have even 1% doubt on the authenticity of any email, call, or text you have received, you can reach out to your bank and verify the communication before taking any action.

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Disclaimer: This Article is for information purposes only. The views expressed in this Article do not necessarily constitute the views of Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd. (“Bank”) or its employees. The Bank makes no warranty of any kind with respect to the completeness or accuracy of the material and articles contained in this Article. The information contained in this Article is sourced from empaneled external experts for the benefit of the customers and it does not constitute legal advice from the Bank. The Bank, its directors, employees and the contributors shall not be responsible or liable for any damage or loss resulting from or arising due to reliance on or use of any information contained herein. Tax laws are subject to amendment from time to time. The above information is for general understanding and reference. This is not legal advice or tax advice, and users are advised to consult their tax advisors before making any decision or taking any action.