Cybercrime Alert! OTP is not required to OPT for Coronavirus EMI Moratorium
April 8, 2020
At the time, when the entire nation is putting efforts to refrain from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Reserve Bank of India has announced relief measures to help India overcome financial crises. One such measure brought in light by the RBI was declaring the 3-month moratorium or grace period for all the EMIs (equated monthly instalments) and credit card dues.
This has brought some respite among borrowers, but to turn this moratorium period for their benefit, guess who is trying to manipulate this? Fraudsters or scammers! Yes, these fraudsters are calling bank customers asking them to share their OTPs to help defer their EMI payments and OPT for EMI moratorium.
SBI Bank and ICICI Bank have come forward alerting their customers not to share the OTPs to these fraudsters as EMI deferment does not require any OTP sharing. SBI Bank has also tweeted this statement to its customers stating “Cyber fraudsters keep finding new ways to scam people. The only way to beat the #cybercriminals is to #BeAlert & be aware. Please note that EMI Deferment does not require OTP sharing. Do not share your OTP.”
SBI, ICICI, and HDFC Bank have also issued a warning to its customers by sending emails and reporting this incident on social media. In such instances, fraudsters are calling the customers requesting them for their OTP to help them OPT for the moratorium scheme announced by banks for their EMI deferment. Once any customer shares OTP with these fraudsters, it will siphon off money from their bank account immediately.
In order to spread awareness and safeguard the interests of customers from such fraudsters, ICICI Bank has issued a secured advisory that has been shared across its customers. These advisory has issued some tips for the customers as detailed below:
- Do not share OTP to OPT for Moratorium: You will not be getting any calls or email from your bank for OTP or password details for your EMI deferment or opting for a moratorium. It’s always in your safe interest to not share any private or confidential information such as OTP, debit or credit card numbers, CVV numbers, netbanking, mobile banking password, customer ID, UPI PINs, etc. with anybody including bank employees requesting for verification.
- Turn the ‘Auto Save’ or ‘Auto Complete’ feature into disable mode on your mobile banking app: Disable auto-fill and do not save your user IDs or passwords for mobile banking and internet banking transactions. Although it is required, it can be dangerous.
- Never respond to phishing texts: Never click on the URL which you obtain from any unknown identity or unknown sources. Never reveal your personal information or online banking credentials through email or text message as these details can be used by the fraudster for stealing your identity.
- Be alert from verification calls: The fraudster calling you pretends to be a bank representative or a bank employee from the bank’s technical team. Once he/she convinces you about his/her false identity, the next step will be taking away your personal and confidential data from you. If you find it suspicious or in doubt, make a call immediately to your bank or email your bank or financial institution and report them about this call.
- Track your finances with the bank regularly: It is necessary to know about your finances at frequent intervals. Check your bank accounts regularly to know the amount figures. Whenever you make a transaction, check your balance to ensure the correct amount has been received or paid. In case of any disparity, contact your bank immediately.