How to Avoid Being a Victim of Financial Scams During COVID-19 Outbreak

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While the world is reeling from the fear of coronavirus, another problem that has been affecting consumers all across the globe is financial fraud and scams. Cybercriminals have been using different methods and tactics like sending SMS, email, or cold-calling to deceive people and steal their money.

So, apart from fighting coronavirus, we need to make sure we don’t fall victim to cybercriminals. Before we learn how to avoid financial scams and keep your finances secure during COVID -19, let us take a quick look at the different financial scams that scammer shave used to cheat people of their money.


4 Types of Financial Scams DuringCOVID-19 Outbreak

  1. EMI Scam

Ever since the banks offered a moratorium on home, personal, car, and credit loans, cybercriminals have been using it as bait.

According to the moratorium, people can opt to defer their EMIs for 3 months. The borrowers just need to request the bank to opt for the moratorium. The banks typically do not card details, personal details, or OTPs while processing the moratorium request.

In this particular scam, the scammers pose as bank’s customer care executives to gain access to the borrowers’ banking details by generating OTPs and asking the borrowers to share them for processing the moratorium. This modus operandi gives cybercriminals access to crucial banking information needed to commit the crime.

Be informed about the different types of personal loan scams to protect yourself.

  • Wallets and UPI Scam

UPI or United Payment Interface is a method to make digital, real-time payments. The demand and popularity of e-wallets and UPIs rose since the lockdown.

UPI apps have a ‘pay’ and ‘receive’ option, which the scammers are exploiting. They pose as buyers and ask the users for their bank details. Instead of paying the people, they extract money from the user’s bank accounts.

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  • Netflix Subscription

As people got confined to their homes during the lockdown, most turned to Netflix for entertainment. Fraudsters used this to their advantage and launched a Netflix scam.

They sent emails to millions of people claiming to give away free Netflix subscription passes. All customers had to do was click and fill an attached survey and forward it to 10 WhatsApp users.

The cybercriminals attached malware to the survey, which helped in stealing customers’ personal information. Using this information, they would withdraw money from the banks of unsuspecting users.

  • Email Phishing

Email phishing is one of the most common financial scams in the world. Cybercriminals sent realistic-looking emails and links to people. When clicked, scammers obtain sensitive information like passwords and credit card details, which they would use to take our money out of your bank.

Important Tips to Avoid Financial Scams

Financial Scams
  • Ensure that you only download trustworthy and verified e-wallets, finance, and UPI apps.
  • Do not open unsolicited or suspicious-looking emails. Click emails and links that are from trusted sources. If an email is asking you to take instinctive actions, it is a scam.
  • Look for grammatical or spelling errors in emails and messages. These are usually common in phishing emails.
  • Never share your personal, bank, or credit card details with anyone, especially those who claim to be from customer care. No company or bank will ask you for details like credit card number, CVV, or OTP.
  • Keep your UPI pin secured.
  • Avoid using credit cards for online purchases or while donating to charity. Be aware of emails or messages asking for your credit card details to avoid credit card scams.
  • If someone asks you to download an app to opt for a loan moratorium, do not act on it.
  • Avoid online transactions as much as possible and transact only on trusted sites.
  • Install trusted anti-virus software on your laptop and phone to protect net banking and mobile banking.

People are spending more time online now than before, thus making them easy targets for cybercriminals. Your money is vulnerable online; if you understand the types of financial scams existing online, you can protect yourself from them.

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