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Fraudsters Have Unlocked New Ways To Steal From Your Bank Account

By Manish Agrawal

Scammers are now luring victims to share their confidential banking and personal information using social engineering tactics. They are enticing their targets through a combination of too good to be true offers, promise of help and sometimes through threats.


The digital frauds have seen a makeover since the beginning of the pandemic and are now becoming sophisticated enough to gain people's trust.

Fraudsters are generally concentrated in peripheral areas around metros and urban centres to avoid actions from metro/urban police and law enforcement agencies.

Bankers and law enforcement officials have been receiving reports/complaints in recent months about customers falling prey to cyber frauds in the name of KYC update, fake marketplace listings, job scams, and false customer care numbers. The usual modus operandi in such cases include receipt of unsolicited calls, text messages, e-mails, etc. with a link urging customers to share details of their bank accounts, login credentials, card information, PINs, and OTPs. Sometimes unauthorized and unverified mobile apps are used to take control of the victim's phone to gain access to confidential information.

These are typically vishing attacks. In vishing attacks, imposters call or approach the customers pretending to be bankers / insurance agents / healthcare workers / government officials. They seek confirmation of the secure credentials by sharing details such as name / date of birth to gain confidence and offers critical and essential services.


In some cases, the imposters even put pressure on customers to share confidential details urgently citing emergency, supply shortage of critical medical care products, account blocking, and similar other threats. These credentials are then used to defraud the customers.

It should be noted that customers are not required to authenticate through OTP or PIN for receiving any money in their bank accounts and any such request for OTP/PIN should raise an alarm.

Many of these frauds are now being perpetrated during weekdays and working hours to trick customers into believing that the calls and offers are legitimate.

A fraud dispute time analysis by HDFC Bank revealed that in the first three months of this financial year, 65-70% of cyber frauds happened between 7.00 AM and 7.00 PM.

The findings further revealed that 80-85% of the affected customers were in the age group 22-50, and supposedly belonged to the more tech savvy age bracket.

The Union Ministry of Home Affairs ("MHA"), with effect from June 17, 2021, has operationalized a centralised helpline number, 155260, and a reporting platform where victims can report incidents of cyber fraud.

The helpline is manned by respective state police and reported incidents are handled through the Citizen Financial Cyber Fraud Reporting and Management System, which is integrated with law enforcement agencies, banks, and financial institutions.

Fraudsters Have Unlocked New Ways To Steal From Your Bank Account

Additionally, HDFC Bank has been doing Secure Banking Campaigns through social media, text messages, e-mails, and periodic notifications to its customers, largely focusing on latest fraud modus operandi with dos and don'ts on digital banking.

Manish Agrawal, is Head Credit Intelligence and Control, HDFC Bank

Read more about: banking fraud
Story first published: Monday, November 22, 2021, 14:02 [IST]
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