OTP-based financial frauds involve scammers attempting to exploit the one-time password (OTP) system used for authentication in financial transactions. They employ tactics like SIM card swapping, phishing scams, OTP interception, man-in-the-middle attacks, vishing, and OTP forwarding. These fraudsters deceive individuals into revealing their OTPs through various means, allowing them to conduct unauthorised transactions or gain access to sensitive information.
To protect yourself, be cautious, avoid sharing OTPs with unknown individuals, verify requests independently, monitor your accounts, and stay informed about the latest scams.
Modus Operandi Of OTP-Based Financial Frauds
Fraudsters impersonating as NBFCs, send SMS / messages offering loans or enhancement of credit limit on NBFC/bank customers’ loan accounts, and ask the customers to contact them on a mobile number.
When the customers call such numbers, fraudsters ask them to fill forms to collect their financial credentials. Fraudsters then induce / convince the customers to share the OTP or PIN details and carry out unauthorised transfers from the customers’ accounts.
- Never share OTP / PIN / personal details, etc., in any form with anyone, including your own friends and family members.
- Regularly check SMS / emails to ensure that no OTP is generated without your prior knowledge.
- Always access the official website of a bank / NBFC / e-wallet provider or contact the branch to avail their services and / or seek product and services related information and clarifications.
To protect yourself from OTP-based financial frauds, you can follow these specific guidelines:
Be cautious with your OTP: One-time passwords (OTPs) are commonly used for authentication in financial transactions. Treat OTPs as highly confidential and never share them with anyone, including callers or individuals claiming to be from your bank or financial institution.
Avoid sharing personal information: Fraudsters often use social engineering techniques to trick individuals into revealing personal information. Be sceptical of unsolicited calls, emails, or messages asking for your OTP, bank account details, or other sensitive information.
Verify callers or senders: If you receive a call, email, or message requesting your OTP or sensitive information, independently verify the authenticity of the request. Use the official contact details provided by your bank or financial institution to reach out and confirm if the request is genuine.
Secure your mobile number: Since OTPs are usually sent to your registered mobile number, it is essential to keep your mobile device secure. Set up a lock screen PIN or password to prevent unauthorised access. Avoid sharing your mobile device with others, and be cautious when installing apps or granting permissions.
Enable SIM card security: Consider contacting your mobile service provider to enable additional security features for your SIM card. Features such as SIM card lock or SIM card swap notifications can help prevent unauthorised access to your mobile number.
Enable transaction alerts: Most banks and financial institutions provide transaction alerts via SMS or email. Enable these alerts to receive real-time notifications for any financial transactions conducted using your accounts. If you notice any unauthorised activity, contact your bank immediately.
Keep your devices secure: Protect your mobile device and computer from malware and unauthorised access. Install reliable security software, keep your operating systems and applications up to date with the latest security patches, and avoid downloading apps or files from untrusted sources.
Regularly review your bank statements: Thoroughly review your bank statements to identify any unauthorised transactions. Promptly report any discrepancies or suspicious activity to your bank.
Educate yourself about common scams: Stay informed about the latest scams and fraud techniques targeting individuals. Keep up to date with news and resources provided by your bank or financial institution. Being aware of common scams will help you recognise potential threats and avoid falling victim to them.
Report suspicious activity: If you suspect any fraudulent activity or receive phishing attempts, report it to your bank, police, and the Cyber Crime Cell in your area. Providing them with the necessary information can help in investigations and protect others from falling victim to similar frauds.
By implementing these precautions, you can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to OTP-based financial frauds.