The issue of vishing scams is quite common nowadays, with a lot of people losing lakhs of rupees to these scams. Despite banks and the RBI warning people about such scams, people are still falling victim to them. People in India fall prey to such scams primarily because of lack of awareness. Some people do not know that their credit card details and OTP should not be shared. We will discuss multiple cases of vishing scams in this blog as well as how to keep yourself safe from them.
What’s a vishing scam?
In vhishing, fraudsters pose as employees of reputable companies over the phone to obtain personal information, such as bank information, credit card numbers, or one-time passwords.
Incident 1: A hotel employee in Mysore was cheated of Rs 9,999 by a fraudster posing as a bank official a few months back. It was reported that the victim received a telephone call from someone identifying himself as a bank employee, telling him that the bank was issuing new ATM cards. The telemarketer instructed the victim to send a picture of his old ATM card to the WhatsApp number provided by the telemarketer in order to receive a new ATM card.
The victim, believing this to be true, took a picture of his ATM card and sent it to the WhatsApp number provided. A few minutes after sending the picture, he received a message from his bank confirming the debit of Rs 9,999 from his bank account.
Incident 2: An Indian school teacher lost Rs 48,000 in a vishing scam. In an unexpected call, he mistakenly thought he was talking to a friend. As a result, he became an easy victim of fraud. Fraudsters asked the victim for his bank account information in order to transfer money to his bank account. Having no knowledge of the bank's information, the victim was asked to provide his card number and CVV.
With the expectation of receiving the money, he provided the card details and CVV. He received a message saying Rs 47,900 had been debited from his bank account soon after providing these details.
How to avoid vishing scams?
1. A bank or other institution will never ask for personal information over the phone, such as bank account details, credit card numbers, CVV codes, and OTP codes. When you receive a call claiming to be from the bank and asking for personal information, ignore it or report it to the nearest police station. The OTP and card information are meant to be kept private, so you should never share them.
2. You should not put your trust in an unknown caller who claims to represent a reputable company. Be sure to verify caller information and ask a few basic questions. Although it may sound rude, it can save you from getting scammed.
3. There is now a blocking option available on almost all mobile phones, which allows you to block incoming calls from specified numbers. You should block phone numbers that keep calling you and asking for your personal information.
4. It is recommended that digital escrow platforms be used for payment. When making an online payment with Escrow, you do not share your financial information with anyone. There is a platform for escrow called Vouch.
How does digital escrow work?
In digital escrow, a third-party account holds the money deposited by the buyer until the seller fulfills the terms of the contract. The escrow company supervises the transacting parties.
What is the role of Digital Escrow in preventing online fraud in India?
Digital escrow services are offered by many companies in India. Among the most trusted is Vouch.
Vouch’s Digital Escrow service is a transparent way for buyers and sellers to build trust and secure a clean transfer of product and payment. Sellers can feel assured that they will be fairly compensated promptly, and buyers will feel confident that their order will be delivered as expected and on schedule. Vouch Digital Escrow keeps you updated and informed at every step of the transaction process till the end. Vouch’s professionals are always available to assist you with all queries that you may have during the entire transaction process.
There is no scope for deceit or fraud since the payments, shipping, delivery, and execution are carried out under the honest and watchful eyes of the Vouch’s professionals. With Vouch, any business transaction becomes transparent, uncomplicated, and hassle-free. If you ever come across a fraudster asking for OTP, asking you to scan a QR code, or asking you to click on phishing links, you can simply refuse and ask him/her to proceed with the transaction through Vouch.
This is Fraud Story #181. Check back here for more fraud stories and scams that you can protect yourself from.
Safety is not just about protecting your credit, debit card number, and UPI accounts. It's about having control of your money till you've received the product or service you bought online!
Note: This is a good-faith initiative to educate the world about avoiding frauds like these and how to act when you're becoming a victim of such a situation.
Do you have a fraud you would like to report? Please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org