Thursday, December 2, 2021
ColumnsLost money online? Here’s what to do

Lost money online? Here’s what to do

Published: 17th Aug 2021 12:09 am

Earning money from the comfort of your couch is no longer a dream, thanks to the internet, but we all must be cautioned at the same time that all that glitters is not gold.

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We have seen people who lose money via social engineering crimes  (a) KYC frauds (b) Customer care frauds (c) E-commerce frauds (d) Job frauds (e) Marriage frauds (f) Romance frauds etc.

We have seen another set of people subscribing to simple tasks for hefty sums of money, some of them have very simple tasks i.e.  (a) Watching lots of videos and pressing the “like” and “follow” buttons. (b) Editing a single A4 size document for over 50$ revenue (c) Investing peanuts on Crypto Currencies and earning millions (d) Subscribing to a lottery that has never been bought.

Many of the offers you see have nothing but empty promises, and even worse, some of these offers turn our desires into substantial monetary losses.

Citizen Financial Cyber Fraud Reporting and Management System

The Citizen Financial Cyber Fraud Reporting and Management System (CFCFRM) has been developed in-house by I4C to integrate Law Enforcement Agencies and Banks and Financial Intermediaries. It is currently being utilised along with Helpline no 155260 by seven States and Union Territories (Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana, Uttarakhand, and Uttar Pradesh).

The facility empowers both the banks and the police, by leveraging new-age technologies for sharing online fraud-related information and taking action in almost real-time. The loss of defrauded money in online cheating cases can be stopped by chasing the money trail and stopping its further flow before it is taken out of the digital ecosystem by the fraudster.

Step by step process

Step 1 – Victims can call on Helpline no 155260, which is manned and operated by the respective State Cyber Crime Police officers.

Step 2 – The Cyber Police notes down the fraud transaction details (Account number, wallet, UPI, transaction ID, date, debit/credit card numbers etc) and other basic personal information of the caller and submits a Ticket on the portal.

Step 3 – The Ticket gets escalated to the concerned banks, wallets, merchants and so on, depending on whether they are the victim’s bank or the bank/wallet in which the defrauded money has gone.

Step 4 – An SMS is also sent to the victim with an acknowledgement number of the complaint with directions to submit complete details of the fraud on the portal within 24 hours, using the acknowledgement number.

Step 5 – The concerned bank, which can now see the ticket on its dashboard on the Reporting Portal, checks the details in its internal systems.

Step 6 – If the victim’s money is still available, the bank puts it on hold, i.e., the fraudster cannot withdraw the money. If the victim’s money has moved out to another bank, the Ticket gets escalated to the next subsequent bank to which the money has moved out. This process is repeated (Between 5 to 20 banks depending upon the severity) until the money is saved from reaching into the hands of the fraudsters.

Step 7 – Victim is given a petition number and requested to reach nearest police station to register it as an official First Information Report for further Process just in case the money is withdrawn from multiple banks accounts as prescribed by Citizen Financial Cyber Frauds Reporting and Management System hosted on National Cybercrime Reporting Portal.

Safety tips

  • No bank sends links to update KYC
  • Be wary of short URLs and information requested on SMS, Emails forms from unknown sources for verification of KYC or requesting to invest in Trade or Crypto Currencies, or saying you won a lottery
  • Never send sensitive, personal or proprietary information via email, regardless of who is asking for it
  • Never click on Links / Forms asking for personal information (Passwords & Bank Information)
  • Never search for customer care numbers on Search Engines – Open the app or application’s website for customer care number
  • Scanning QR Code or giving OTP, UPIN, BankCard and CVV numbers means you are transferring money from your account, NOT receiving
  • Never do banking transactions while you are on telephonic conversations
  • Never share your screen (Any Desk, Team Viewer Etc) with unknown people
  • Enable two-factor authentication for all email and social media accounts

Victims who lose money online are advised to collect the petition from CFCFRM authorities and then go to the nearest police station for filing a First Information Report for further processing.

Anil Rachamalla (End Now Foundation, www.endnowfoundation.org)
Stay Tuned to Cyber Talk column for more on internet ethics and digital wellness


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