ENSURE YOUR FINANCIAL SAFETY FROM ONLINE CREDIT FRAUD AND IDENTITY THEFT

As per the Union Budget announcement, more than 50 crore Indians now have access to the internet, which has caused about a 144% jump in mobile data usage in the year 2018 compared to the year before. It is one of the significant milestones achieved, and it mainly depends on

  • Availability of affordable smartphones
  • Mobile data is available at a reasonable price
  • Telecom services available in multiple regional languages

With the rise in consumer connectivity, there comes an increased risk of credit fraud due to exchanging online data and sharing it online. This calls for careful planning to save our data from being thieved.

HOW DOES ONLINE CREDIT FRAUD OCCUR?

Our mobile phones, laptops, or tablets contains our personal information, and we also tend to save our account information on our online gadgets.

Sometimes, online fraudsters can easily hack our data by using well-developed tools to phish. They also try to obtain your details by sending an email that looks like a legitimate source, usually a bank or financial institution but contains a link to a fake website that replicates the real one.

One can only find out about the credit fraud once there has been a considerable amount debited from your accounts or in the case of a wrongly attributed credit card bill.

Times of India says that according to data from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the highest number of such frauds in the said period has been reported in the ATM/debit card category which saw 11,058 cases involving Rs 94.5 crore.

So, it’s direly essential not to become a victim of these types of emails and should be more vigilant to check out the real root cause in this case.

Below mentioned are a few steps that can help you stay a step ahead of these fraudsters and avoid being a victim of credit fraud:

  1. AVOID USING PUBLIC WI-FI FOR TRANSACTIONS:
    Avoid making any transactions or payments online when connected to public Wi-Fi. You may not be aware, but your device broadcasts airwaves when connecting to Wi-Fi. A hacker can hack these airwaves, and they can tamper with your transactions made. So, refrain from using public Wi-Fi, especially when making any transactions. Opt for a cellular network if you need to complete an important time-sensitive transaction.
  2. Keep your Details Online to a Minimum:
    Uploading your document on social media is another thing that you should avoid by all means. Your details like Aadhar card, PAN number, account number, and even your card numbers can be used by scammers. One can even open a loan account in your name with all these details. You can only know your details have been utilized when you get calls from collection agents. So remember to watch out, stay smart and protect your details from getting hacked.
  3. ENCRYPT YOUR DETAILS OR USE TOKENIZATION TO MASK THEM:Card companies RBI-directed, such as Visa and MasterCard, have recently started to offer tokenization services. The 16-digit card number on your card is encrypted with the help of tokenization – so that it is not revealed to the merchants and remains strictly with your card issuer. Another way you can protect your identity is to try using mobile wallets while transacting online, as it helps store the card and tokenize the payments.
  4. Keep a Regular check on your credit score:
    Tracking and reporting your credit score is the simple and easiest way to monitor all your loan accounts under your name. Even though your credit report holds several sections, the ‘accounts information’ section contains all the details of your credit availed to date. Keep a regular check on your’ accounts information’ section whether all the details are accurate or not. If there is an account that you do not recognize as your own, then it could be a case of identity theft.

WHERE TO GET YOUR CIBIL SCORE?

Usually, you get one free CIBIL report every year, from which you can start monitoring your credit profile. You can also choose a subscription to monitor your CIBIL report regularly.

Safeguarding your financial details is critical, especially your credit information. It is because a good and high CIBIL Score can help you get faster and cheaper access to credit. However, a lower credit score can negatively impact your access to credit.

WHAT CAN YOU DO IF YOU HAVE ALREADY BEEN A VICTIM OF CREDIT FRAUD?

Follow the below steps immediately, If you have ever been a sufferer of credit fraud or identity theft.

  1. Contact your bank immediately and notify them of the fraud. They will immediately block your card and freeze your account immediately.
  2. You can also register an FIR with the police regarding credit fraud or theft.
  3. Follow up with your bank to ensure that the credit fraud and transaction made are removed, and all the details are provided to the credit bureau.

Conclusion

Credit frauds can range from theft of your card, counter lifting, account takeover, or even email/telephone order and much more. It is our responsibility to ensure our financial safety and educate ourselves to help avoid such fraud. To achieve financial goals, one must try to be vigilant and proactive.

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