The rate at which cases of cyber crime related to financial defrauding is increasing; it must set alarm bells ringing not only in the security establishments of the land but in the community at large too. Almost daily one is reading reports and getting information that citizens are being bombarded with calls, texts and emails eliciting personal information from them that are connected to a host of financial issues. Once lured or tricked into divulging this precious information the unsuspecting citizen is subject to variety of cyber based crimes which basically defraud them of their hard earned money. This has to be effectively battled and citizens better protected. How can this be done – the answer is citizen awareness and “smart” response to all such luring contact.
Basically these attacks are in the form of “Vishing” calls. The caller either shocks the receiver by a dangerous situation, like – “your ATM card has been blocked” – or something similar – to present an emergency to the receiver. Or the caller will tempt the victim, like – “you know a premium has been declared on your insurance police” – to lure the victim by temptation. In both cases – fear & greed – the victim ceases to think rationally and that is what the criminal wants. With the departure of rational thought goes rational action and the cyber crook gets what he wants with relative ease and a little glib talk. This information is then used to harm the victim financially through an online financial transactional crime.
As stated above, fighting cyber crime or any crime is a matter of common sense and a “smart” approach. In such a scenario of continuous threats and temptations, what is the best course of action that a common citizen may follow so that they do not fall prey to such cyber services based financial defrauding? The best way is – in certain identified financial sectors like ATM; Online Banking; Article by: Varun Kapoor, IPS – ADGP Narcotics & PRTS Indore (MP) Page 2 Online Shopping; Insurance; Mutual Funds; other Investment based financial activities; e-Payments Portals etc – if any consumer receives a call (or in some few cases a text or email), then the response should be on the lines – “I do not want any premiums nor do I need to give any information to you, if you are genuine and have anything concrete to offer or ask do send your representative physically to my location and then and only then will I discuss the issue further”. Then the phone connection may be disconnected. This may in very ,very rare cases deprive you of a facility or benefit, but will save a lot of pain and anguish in case of being duped by online and cyber based criminal callers. Hence the motto should be “BE ALERT, RESPOND SMART, BE SAFE”.
The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of The Morung Express.