How to Protect Yourself from Identity & Credit Fraud

Identity & Credit Fraud

As more and more people in India have access to internet and mobile data and an increasing number of people in the country have also been embracing online payments, there lurks a danger of identity theft or credit fraud. It may look like a far-fetched danger, but you never know when it may hit you and you are caught unaware. Worry not! All we are trying to say is that it is better to be safe than sorry!  

Here are a few tips that you can follow to protect yourself from any kind of online frauds: 

Protect personal information: 

Never upload or reveal personal information online. Details such as your account number, date of birth, card details and card number, can be used by scammers for many types of frauds. Always be very selective about who you share your personal information with. And remember, never give details about confidential details such as net banking passwords, ATM Pin and the like. 

Here are some tips in this aspect: 

  • Never disclose secure information like passwords or ATM pin 
  • Do not shop online on websites that you are not aware of 
  • Do not click on links that you receive on e-mail 
  • Be careful about the friends you make on social media 
  • Do not share your OTP with anyone 

Change passwords regularly: 

Make sure you change your passwords for all net banking accounts and also for all the debit and credit cards that you may own. Make sure you do not have the same password for all accounts. It is also very important to make sure you do not set your password very similar to your name. Basically, your password should be strong.  

Here are some tips that you can follow in this aspect: 

  • Set a password that is very difficult to guess 
  • Change your password very 30 days 
  • Register yourself for two-step authentication 

Do not use free Wi-Fi: 

Whether you are at a coffee shop or staying at a hotel, do not use the free Wi-Fi to make online payments or carry out banking transactions. Not only is it easy to hack into the network because it is not private, one can also face other issues like data leak.  

Do not save cards on online platforms

Many e-commerce websites and even mobile apps allow you to save your password on their platform. Though this makes it easy for you to make a payment, it is potentially dangerous, and data can be misused. Also, do not store passwords or other confidential information on your smartphone.  

Here are some tips you can follow: 

  • Use UPI to make payments 
  • Even if you save card information, delete it after making purchases 

Embrace encryption

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has issued instructions to credit card companies and banks to allow for encryption of information such as the 16-digit card number for example. Encryption is a process where the card information is stored and then displayed in an encrypted and coded format. 

Check your bank balance

It is always important to keep tabs of your financial status and regularly check your bank balance. Also, once in a while, visit the bank and make an effort to meet your bank manager. You can also check your account balance and other details during this process. 

Keep tabs on credit score:

It will also help immensely if you can check and monitor your credit score at regular intervals. This way, you will be aware of the loan accounts you have opened and make sure that there are no false accounts opened in your name.  

 What needs to do if you are a victim of fraud? 

It is quite unnerving and stressful when it comes to financial fraud and when you are at the receiving end of the spectrum it becomes quite difficult to handle. 

If your credit card is misused, the first thing that you need to do is call your bank and report the same and immediately make sure that you block your card so that it cannot be used henceforth.  

Given below is a list of steps that you should follow in case of any online theft or identity fraud: 

Step 1 :

Contact the bank:-The first step to take is to call the bank and inform them about your status and freeze all transactions until notice. 

Step 2 

File a complaint: It is always wise to file an FIR at your local police station. 

Step 3 

Follow up: It is always advisable that you follow up with your lender and make sure that amends are made in case of fraudulent transactions. 

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