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Know-Your-Customer (KYC) frauds on rise in Mumbai

cybercrimes, cyber security, kyc, know your customer, kyc fraud, paytm fraud, phonepe kyc, phonepe fraud, e-wallet, wallet moneyDuring lockdown people have been totally depend on making e-payments, using net banking or e-wallets to pay for essentials, KYC frauds are flourishing. Cyber burglars are taking advantage of the situations and cheating people. In two different occurrences of Know-Your-Customer (KYC) frauds at Oshiwara and Powai, senior citizens were conned of lakhs of rupees. cyber fraudsters have started ‘calling’ home under the pretext of updating debit/credit card information and trapping victims. Looking at the rising number of KYC frauds, Maharashtra Cyber Cell has issued an advisory.

The advisory says “Never share any information with anyone claiming to be from PayTM or any other e-wallet company. Never install apps like Anydesk, Teamviewer, Quicksupport etc until you know about them. These apps can give the fraudster access to your phones. Never click on suspicious links and delete such messages immediately. PayTM Full KYC can only be completed by a face-to-face meeting with an agent at an authorised PayTM KYC point. In case of doubt, reach out to PayTM customer support from the PayTM App on your phone.”

Beenu Arora, a Global Cybersecurity Expert and CEO of US-based Cyber Intelligence company Cyble told Afternoon Voice, “The recent data breaches have exposed personal records of millions of users personal information on the darkweb. Cyble in the last 1 month has disclosed over 100 million records related to the Indian audiences. Cyber criminals are continually in the lookout for such personal information to conduct various nefarious activities including banking and telephone scams. We recommend people to stay vigilant and maintain good cyber hygiene such as never share personal information, including financial information over the phone, email or SMSs. Use strong passwords and enforce multi-factor authentication where possible. Regularly monitor your financial transaction, if you notice any suspicious transaction, contact your bank immediately. Cyble offers a handy service called AmiBreached.com – a data breach monitoring and notification service. Retail users can utilise this platform to ascertain their exposure in the deepweb and darkweb.”

Recently a resident of Powai, 75-year-old Ramesh Bhatia, received a call from a man posing as the representative of an e-wallet company, PayTM. The conman sought all the details of Mehta on the pretext of updating the KYC on his account, telling the gentleman that his account would be suspended otherwise. Bhatia was alarmed by the prospect of his account being suspended and provided details of his Bank of Baroda account, by mentioning the account number and the debit card details on a form sent by the impostors and ended up losing Rs 1.80 lakh in the next couple of minutes.

In another incidence Oshiwara-based senior citizen lost Rs 1.55 lakh to a similar con, also the modus operandi was similar in both the cases. Both these cases fraudsters used same trick of calling the user and trapping them into sharing their confidential information, following which the victim received a link. Once the user opens the link and enters their One-Time Password (OTP), a huge amount of money is siphoned off within minutes, which is what happened to the Oshiwara resident.

In Mumbai’s Borivali East area a teacher got conned in similar way but she hardly had any amount in her wallet so got saved for, getting coned with huge hard-earned amount.

Ajit Hatti, an Ethical Hacker and Cyber Security Personnel told Afternoon Voice that, “The various Payment and Wallet service companies should start educating the users by push notification or in app alerts that Please do not share your Credit/Debit card details with anyone. We do NOT call any one to complete KYC, we do not threaten any one to close their account. NEVER share any OTP with anyone else.” The companies cannot be oblivion to ever increasing frauds and not educate people. Each OTP SMS should have the warning stating not to share it with others and must make account take overs multi step process at each step of which User should be made aware that he is making a transfer of a particular amount to a person, if they don’t intend to do this you can cancel it. “Every time a person opens the APP, user should be made aware of possible frauds, be assured they are not getting tricked and only then proceed with any transaction they want. The design should allow these “educative feature” to be disabled for advanced users. But are a must for the large vulnerable population who is yet to catch up with the digital payments.”

Cybercrime and Banking crimes are not new to people. Such type of cybercrimes has been trending since the past year and has grown apace. People need to be very much smart and alert while sharing their credentials.

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