In this chapter, we will list essential tips to avoid getting conned and losing our hard-earned money. To do so, we will segregate the tips as per the types of frauds as classified earlier.
You must ensure to keep all your important financial documents and instruments like cheque books, in a safe place, preferably under lock and key. For official purposes and bank operations, use a signature that is difficult to replicate. Always sign cheques only while drawing them and not in advance.
While the contents of phishing emails will be too tempting, never succumb to it and provide the requested details. Neither Coca-Cola nor the King of Nigeria will send Rs. 200 crores to a random stranger for giving bank account details on email! Phishing emails will often have a few typos and grammatical errors. Some phishing emails will seem to originate from legitimate institutions like banks, the Income Tax Department, etc. Notice the e-mail ID of the sender. If it ends with a generic email provider like Gmail, do not respond to it. You may be able to report it to the actual institution for further action.
Fraudsters will try to create a sense of urgency by threatening to block the account, penalty, etc., to extract sensitive personal details over the phone. You should decline to provide any details. Remember, banks do not ask for passwords, CVVs, OTPs, PINs, etc. These should be known only to you and nobody else. If you feel that it could have been a legitimate call, you can verify the information conveyed by the person on call with the bank itself by calling on their official phone banking number. Otherwise, you could do so by visiting the concerned branch or office.
Debit and Credit Card Cloning
If there seems to be an unusual attachment to the card insertion slot in an ATM, alert the security guard. Always cover the keypad of the ATM with your hand while punching the PIN. Avoid using your cards at establishments that seem fishy. Always be present while your card is being swiped at the restaurant or fuel pump. Use contactless payment modes wherever possible. If your card is lost, stolen, or if unauthorised transactions are made, call your bank immediately and have it blocked.
Spyware and Ransomware
Never download e-mail attachments and files from unknown sources. Refrain from using pirated and unreliable software. Never record your passwords and other sensitive personal details on your computer. Share as little information as possible on social media to safeguard yourself from identity theft. Have good antivirus software installed and regularly updated. In case of spyware or ransomware attack, seek immediate help from law enforcement authorities.
In general, exercise vigilance and due diligence to protect yourself from frauds.