Increasing digitization is bringing with it a fast-growing tribe: people who are ripped off by online fraudsters.
Stories of people being conned at ATMs, charged on bank cards in countries where they never visited and tricked in the name of windfalls worth millions have become so common that they no longer raise eyebrows.
If you fall victim to online fraud, what could you do?
If you don't waste time, you could get the money back within hours.
The Kerala police have launched a WhatsApp group under its Cyberdome technological research and development center to quickly tackle such complaints.
Started in August, the group settled about 600 cases in the first month itself, helping victims get Rs 26 lakh back.
The WhatsApp group, launched at the instruction of the Reserve Bank of India, comprises bank officers who have the authority to block financial transactions, police officials and executives of e-commerce and digital-wallet firms.
How to complain:
Complaints should be reported to the Cybercell within two hours of the incident. To report, you may also call the crime stopper number, 1090. Information including the SMS received from the bank about the transaction should be given to the police at the earliest. These can be furnished online as well.
Representatives of banks as well as e-commerce and wallet companies initiate steps to block the transaction as soon as they are informed about the fraud. The money will return to your account within hours. The team has been able to resolve almost all the complains it received so far. Though money transfer happens instantaneously, according to RBI’s estimates, it can be recovered if action is initiated within six hours.
Most of the time, cyber-criminals swindle money by getting hold of the one-time password (OTP) sent by banks. Victims are usually older than 35 years. They are also often found to have just started using smartphones and transacting online. It is easier to collect information from such unsuspecting people and defraud them.
The fraudsters always keep themselves up to date and come up with new tricks almost every month. The latest they use to deceive include the government directive for compulsory linking of Aadhaar with bank accounts and the merger of State Bank of Travancore with State Bank of India.
Don’t share confidential information such as the OTP number sent by your bank, card number or PIN with anyone. Don't give your account details over the phone to anyone, even if the caller claims to be a high-ranking official.