Recently, several fraud cases have come to light where fraudulent loan accounts have been created through identity theft. Many individuals have raised concerns over new loan accounts reflecting in their credit report, which they never applied for or took. According to media reports, PAN details of individuals have been used by fraudsters to take personal loans.
Here is a watchlist on how to stay safe from such fraudulent activities
- Check your credit report regularly
- The only way to know if new loan accounts have been opened by scammers using your identity is to check your credit report. It is advised that you go through the account section of your credit report and check if all credit accounts reflecting are your own.
- If you find a credit account that you did not apply for in your credit report, raise a dispute with the concerned credit bureau immediately.
- Don’t divulge your personal details to anyone
- Your personal details are confidential and should not be shared with anyone be it on social media, over-the-call or in person. Sharing of personal data such as passwords, PIN, OTP, credit card details and even your date of birth can lead to cases of identity theft where miscreants can make transactions, using your identity without your knowledge. Even your PAN and Aadhaar documents are highly confidential and their photocopies should not be shared without stating the purpose of its use on the same document.
- Always, remember a Bank/NBFC /Fintech official will never ask you for confidential information like passwords, new banking details, ATM PIN, etc.
- Use secure and trusted platforms & mobile apps only
- Many individuals, in urgent need of money, use unverified platforms and mobile apps for quick access to credit. As per RBI’s Working Group Report on digital lending, there are over 600 illegal lending apps operating in India.
- Before interacting on any platform / app, ensure it is large and trusted.
- When entering URL of a website, a simple typing mistake can also make you target for scammers as for every popular website, there are dozens of fake websites with similar domain name. Some websites even look like the original websites. To ensure you’re going to the right website, bookmark the link on your web browser, open the website link through search engine results, or double-check the address you typed in.
- You must look for safety checks like ISO certification to ensure your Personal Information is safe and secure.
- Also, to know if a website is secure, you can also check if its web address or URL starts with “HTTP” or “HTTPS”. If a site’s URL begins with HTTP, it means the connection is unsecure to handle personal data. Avoid visiting such pages, especially to login, make a payment or provide personal information, as information shared on such websites can be intercepted while in transit.
- Protect yourself against phishing attacks
- Beware when opening emails from unknown sources. Clicking on links or downloading attachments can infect your computer or smartphone with a virus or subject you to fraud. Some viruses harm your computer, while others can steal your personal information and identity.
Be careful when you get emails that ask for personal information in exchange of an offer, like low interest rates. If these redirect you to a third-party platform / website, ensure it’s safe and secure.