In an age where digital transactions have become the norm, cybercriminals have become smarter and are constantly finding ways to exploit vulnerabilities and deceive both consumers and businesses. They are exploiting the boom in digital payments.
As per a report by RBI, in FY 2023, banks saw the highest number of frauds in digital payments!
In this blog, we’ll explore key strategies and best practices to fortify your defenses and maintain the trust of your customers.
Common fraud typologies
A recent press release by the RBI mentions the different types of fraud and mitigation strategies. Some common tactics used by fraudsters include:
- Identity theft/impersonation: Fraudsters may obtain personal data like PAN/Aadhaar details or bank account information, using it to initiate online payments or open fraudulent payment accounts. This personal information is often sold on the dark web, giving fraudsters the means to execute these scams.
- Using QR code: In certain instances, fraudsters exploit unsuspecting customers by sending counterfeit QR codes. When scanned, these codes promise money to the customer’s account but instead deduct funds from their account. Additionally, some fraudsters cunningly replace authentic QR codes with their own at shops or merchant locations, tricking customers into making payments to the wrong accounts.
- Web skimming: Web skimming, a hacking technique, involves implanting malicious software on payment pages to pilfer confidential payment data. In India, e-commerce sites have seen multiple cases where fraudsters exploit third-party applications to siphon off users’ card details, taking advantage of their widespread usage.
- Phishing/vishing: With the widespread adoption of digital transactions in India, the occurrence of phishing and vishing frauds has surged. In vishing scams, imposters pose as bank customer service agents, coercing unsuspecting customers to update their electronic KYC online under the pretext of account maintenance. Similarly, in phishing schemes, fraudulent emails or texts lead customers to deceptive websites resembling genuine bank platforms, tricking them into divulging sensitive details, and ultimately facilitating unlawful transactions.
Mitigating digital payments fraud
You can minimize the risk of digital fraud by following some best practices as listed below:
- Safeguard your personal information: Exercise caution when divulging personal details online. Share information only on secure platforms, and steer clear of public Wi-Fi for transactions.
- Confirm recipient identity: Before sending funds, verify recipient details meticulously. Match the recipient’s name, email, and phone with the intended account.
- Fortify with two-factor authentication (2FA): Boost digital payment security through two-factor authentication. This added layer mandates a supplementary code or password alongside login credentials for enhanced safety.
- Monitor your accounts: Regularly oversee your digital payment activities. Prompt detection of any suspicious transactions enables swift reporting to your financial institution.
- Beware of unsolicited messages: Exercise caution with unexpected requests for personal or financial data. Phishing scams are common, designed to deceive individuals into revealing sensitive information.
Indicators of potential fraudulent transactions:
Detecting digital payment fraud can be challenging, given fraudsters’ ever-evolving tactics to deceive individuals into sending money. Nevertheless, several key signs can aid in recognizing potentially fraudulent transactions:
- Pressing urgency: Fraudsters commonly exploit urgency to prompt swift money transfers, citing immediate bill payments or urgent financial needs. Before acting, take a moment to assess and deliberate any hastily demanded payments.
- Unfamiliar Payees: When a payment request arrives from an unfamiliar source, exercise caution. Verify the recipient’s legitimacy before proceeding, as fraudsters may create bogus profiles mimicking genuine entities.
- Dubious Contact Details: Scrutinize the contact information provided for payment requests. Fraudsters often use deceptive email addresses or phone numbers resembling authentic businesses, aiming to establish credibility.
- High-Value Transactions: Exercise heightened vigilance when dealing with substantial payments. Such transactions are prime targets for fraudsters seeking substantial gains.
- Unusual Requests: Approach unusual behavior or payment demands with caution. Requests involving unconventional currencies or non-standard payment methods should raise concerns.
By prioritizing cybersecurity and implementing these practices, you’ll create a robust defense against digital payments fraud, safeguard your business, and foster trust with your customers. Remember, staying vigilant and proactive is key to staying one step ahead of cybercriminals in our interconnected world.