In a digital world where you have access to everything on your fingertips, a lot of people tend to underestimate the power of technology. While it enables many a convenience, technology is also used malevolently to take advantage of the less savvy. The country is moving towards a less-cash economy and is working on introducing a fraud and risk management framework to protect its citizens from new age digital frauds. According to the Financial Stability Report released by the Reserve Bank of India, Indian banks have registered almost 6000 cases of fraud this year, leading to a total loss of $4.37 billion. The realm of digital transactions can indeed turn a millionaire into a pauper.
Here are five lesser-known ways to secure your debit card:
1. Look for skimmers
An old and trusted way of fraudsters to extract card information is by using skimmers on ATMs and POS machines. These slim devices are attached to where the card is dipped/swiped and the information is simply read off it. This is not possible with the new chip-based debit cards that encrypt information differently. Hence, ensure you have the latest type of card and keep an eye out for skimmers.
2. Enable two-factor authentication
Transactions in India are authenticated with 2 things – what you have (debit/ credit card, account details, mobile number etc.) and what you know (CVV, PIN number, OTP etc.). The two-step verification ensures better safety and which is why customers are advised to update their mobile number and email address with the bank/card issuer, so that sensitive details like OTP (one-time password) may be received only by the customer.
3. Report any suspicious activity
Once a fraudster lays hands on your card, it is only a matter of time that he exploits it. The moment you lose your card or there is a theft, report it to the bank immediately and block it. Sure, there is slight inconvenience of around a week till you receive the new card, but it is worth the effort to keep your money safe. Similarly, if there are transactions on your card that you are unaware of or have not authorized, take immediate action. That is why you must read the SMSes you receive from your bank.
4. Avoid sharing too many details on social media
Though you may be enthusiastic about publishing your birthday on social media in order to get wished on that one day, it is of immense use to a con, especially in terms of identity theft. Imagine a scenario where a fraudster has stolen your card; he can get your birth date, mother’s maiden name etc. from social media. It is simple for him to call your bank, assume your identity (by answering verification questions of birthday, mother’s name etc.) and misuse your bank account. So it is advisable not to share too much of your personal data on any social media platform.
5. Do not disclose sensitive information to anyone
Though it has been said time and again, it can never be told too much. Never ever share confidential data of your card or transaction details with anyone, whether in person or on the phone. Beware of phishing, where people impersonate bank executives and ask for card information that should anyway not be shared with genuine bank executives either.
Most importantly, it is essential to read about and understand the measures taken by the regulator Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to control the incidence of fraud. It is better to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to one’s own money. The ultimate responsibility of your financial safety first lies in your hands and that is why any new measures to protect your data and money should be heeded.
(By Avinash Luthria, Business Head, Financial Processing & Licensing, at Worldline South Asia and Middle East)