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Is your Debit or Credit card details stolen? You might not even know; Take these necessary measures

Priyadarshini Maji
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Recently, the anti-bank fraud cell of the Central Crime Branch (CCB) arrested nine workers of a juice shop from Bihar in connection with phishing of debit card information, using skimmers. A complaint was filed that money was taken from the customers’ debit and credit card accounts without their knowledge. A senior police officer investigating the case said that all customers were told to make payment through their cards only, as the juice shop refused to take any cash. Customers used to swipe their cards and leave without knowing that their card details had been stolen.

Though the government s thrust on financial digitization has brought about a consistent rise in cyber-crime in the past few years, however, with the recent development of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), consumers can now rest assured. The RBI has permitted authorized card payment networks to offer card tokenisation services to any third party requesting it.

Tokenisation acts as an additional layer of security that masks sensitive card data such as the 16-digit account number, expiration date, and security code. Instead of that, it creates a set of numbers that is used to substitute the card information. This way the card information is not disclosed to the website or merchant when you are making a transaction.

Experts say though the recent RBI development will relatively bring down the risk of card-skimming and other banking frauds, people, in general, should take necessary measures to avoid falling prey to any of such frauds.

Know how to Exercising Caution

  • As a precaution, experts suggest people who use digital payments and cards quite often should monitor their accounts regularly, and check for any unusual activity. Users should never link the payment wallets to one’s debit, credit cards or bank accounts.
  • Try to use only one card to recharge digital wallets, as it limits the risk to a single card if the account is hacked.
  • Common passwords should not be used. Also, passwords should be changed on a regular basis. Ensure that the card number is not visible to retailers at the time of purchase.
  • You can also set up a PIN on all banking and payment apps that they will be asked before all transactions.
  • Also, users should also be careful while downloading an app. One should abstain from downloading apps from sites that are not credible. Do not respond to a request from apps which do not look trustworthy.
  • Installing an anti-virus on phones is crucial, as it makes the phone less vulnerable to virus or malware attacks. Enable maximum security protection available on the smartphone as well as the mobile wallet.
  • Industry experts also suggest creating a separate email account for different purposes could prove to be helpful. If there is one email linked to all accounts, after cracking the password for the main email ID, the hacker will have the key to the user’s personal data such as bank account number, passport details, and date of birth.
  • Users must also be wary of online pop-ups as these could contain malicious software for tricking users.
  • Not only banks and cards, but mobile banking through wallets also allows people to view transaction history and get an alert every time there is any activity. Many users with poor awareness of security features in their devices get easily targeted to carry out frauds. Always keep a track of all the messages and notifications that you receive from your bank or wallet providers to be sure of all the transactions made.
  • One should also try to log out of mobile wallets, even if it may be inconvenient to key in the details again so that you do not lose money in case the mobile is stolen.
  • Also, avoid storing your card details on websites. Storing card details on websites is asking for trouble. Taking a few extra seconds to feed in card details while paying online is a small price to pay for peace of mind.

In Case of a Cyber Attack: The first thing to do is inform the payment wallet provider and get in touch with the bank concerned. You need to change your credentials immediately. Providing information to the concerned financial institution helps them investigate the fraud and preventing it from recurring. If a phone is stolen, the SIM card needs to be blocked, and then the bank and the wallets service providers should be informed for blocking transactions. However, if your phone is attacked by malware, do a factory reset. You can then visit a cyber crime cell and file a complaint. All financial institutions have their own cybercrime units, and online and banking fraud cells.