In India, cybercrime has been on the increase. According to a survey released in April 2021, around 2.7 crore adults in the country were victims of identity theft in the previous year. Because the number of bank frauds is on the rise, you should be extra cautious about your transactions, especially those conducted online.

According to the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) annual report for 2018-19, the number of bank fraud instances recorded grew by 15% year over year in 2018-19, with the amount involved increasing by 73.8 percent from 41,167 crore in 2017-18 to 71,543 crore in 2018-19. Advance fraud accounted for 90.2 percent of all frauds in 2018-19, while frauds using cards, the internet, and deposits accounted for only 0.3 percent of the entire fraud value of Rs. 220 crore.

How can you avoid it?

To begin, pay attention to the emails and SMS messages that banks, financial institutions, and regulators send out on a regular basis, advising you not to disclose financial and banking information with anybody, particularly OTP (one-time password) and PIN (personal identification number).

When making online purchases or using your credit card in retail stores or gas stations, be cautious. Also, only use your own device to access shopping or banking websites or applications. Avoid sensitive surfing on a friend’s phone, a public computer, a cyber café, or free WiFi since data might be stolen or duplicated. It’s important to remember that data can be retrieved even if it’s deleted from the device. When sending your phone or laptop in for service or repair, or when selling it, make sure to erase all data and reset the device to factory settings or re-format it.

Recognizing and preventing Digital Fraud

Cyber fraud, online fraud, and digital fraud are all terms used to describe unauthorised and illicit digital transactions. According to Reserve Bank of India regulation, victims of such illegal transactions are still eligible for a full refund (RBI). People can prevent losing money by reducing their responsibility by immediately sharing information about any such scam transactions.

‘Provided you have incurred a loss as a result of unlawful electronic transactions, your liability may be restricted, but it may possibly be zero, if you tell your bank quickly,’ according to the RBI.

How to get back the Money Stolen Online?

Every bank has a policy in place to cover any funds lost as a result of internet fraud. When a bank is notified of an unauthorised transaction, it immediately informs the insurance provider with the specifics of the crime.

The bank will pay you for your loss using insurance proceeds. However, victims of cyber fraud must notify their bank as soon as possible if they have lost money. Within a 3-day time frame, do this task. You will have no obligation and will receive a full reimbursement for the amount taken if you notify the bank within three days of the event.

After the bank has been notified of the unauthorised transaction within the specified time period, this sum will appear in the person’s account within 10 days. If you are unable to notify the bank within three days, you may be liable for a loss of up to Rs 25,000 if you do not notify the bank within four to seven days. Individuals may also get their money protected directly, since various insurance companies already provide such digital fraud coverage.

Can the Bank help you recover the Loss?

The harsh reality is that no bank has ever been unambiguous in its cautions to consumers not to give up any personal or banking information over the phone, SMS, or email. As a result, the bank holds my account holder responsible for whatever occurred in this circumstance. In summary, expecting the bank to recoup the loss is unrealistic.

How can you avoid being a victim of a con?

Because criminals are astute, they make money. They are skilled at luring their prey into their traps. As a result, it is up to us to figure out how to avoid becoming stuck.

1. Inform your whole family and circle of friends about phishing attacks and other internet frauds. We often believe that such incidents will never happen to us, but you never know.

2. Never give out any personal information (especially financial information) over the phone, text message, or email to anybody. The caller may appear to be genuine, polite, professional, or innocent, but scammers are taught to deceive their victims in this manner. Banks never contact or write clients to ask for their financial information.

3. If your bank (or anybody posing as a representative of a reputable firm) calls you and asks for your personal or financial information, hang up. Notify your bank of the figure. If you have the Truecaller app installed on your phone, mark the number as “Fraud” so that it is updated in the program’s database and other Truecaller users are alerted.

4. If you know the operator of the phone number (Vodafone, Airtel, Idea, etc. ), email or tweet them to alert them about the call. They may blacklist the number from their database if they are attentive enough.

Who will be held Accountable?

Both the consumer and the bank are responsible for the security of their bank accounts and debit and credit cards. However, in response to complaints about illegal transactions, the apex bank revised the basis for assigning consumer accountability in these situations and released some guidelines in July 2017. When the bank is held liable for something: A consumer has no accountability if an unlawful transaction happens for one of two reasons, according to RBI standards.

First, there was contributory fraud, carelessness, and a fault on the bank’s side (irrespective of whether or not the transaction is reported by the customer). For example, if the bank made a technological error or problem and client information was compromised.

Second, a third-party breach occurs when the problem is not with the bank or the customer, but rather with another system component, and the customer tells the bank within three working days after receiving the bank’s notification of the unlawful transaction. For example, if a third-party, such as a wallet, website, or app, deducts the same amount twice but does not reimburse it, and the client receives a warning from the bank about the deduction, the consumer must notify the bank within three days that the second deduction was unlawful.

When the consumer is held liable: If the loss occurs as a result of a customer’s recklessness in sharing her payment credentials, the client is accountable for all losses until the illegal transaction is notified to the bank.

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