Fixed Deposit Fraud: How to Stay Protected

By CNBCTV18.com Contributor IST (Released)

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Fixed deposit frauds are increasingly common these days, as cybercriminals trick the gullible into sharing vital information. Here is a list of do’s and don’ts to avoid falling into fixed deposit fraud.

Cybercriminals have intensified their fraud activity as a result of digitization. Today, we must be vigilant against them because these fraudsters have long targeted consumers on the Internet in order to engage in illicit activities. Customers should be aware of all facts gathered when booking an FD. Almost all banks and NBFCs offer websites where consumers can check all their FD information and execute transactions. However, it is essential to note that:

  • Customers must not disclose their portal login credentials to anyone:
  • This information could be used to undertake fraudulent activities if it falls into the wrong hands. To prevent such a situation from happening, make sure to keep an eye on your portal and track every transaction.

  • Check that you have entered the correct information: The applicant’s registered mobile number is used to send OTPs. Therefore, it is essential that you provide your bank or NBFC with accurate contact details. If you provide an incorrect phone number, a third party will gain access to your OTP and FD portal. Fraudulent transactions may result. In addition, you must ensure that the instruments used to account for DFs, such as checks, are issued in the name of the financier with the marking of the beneficiary of the account.
  • If your bank account number changes (and your FD liquidation value is transferred), notify your bank/NBFC immediately: This is a crucial consideration to keep in mind. If the bank is not notified of a change in bank account number, your funds may be transferred to the wrong account, resulting in the loss of your hard-earned funds.
  • Never answer unsolicited calls, especially if they claim to be from your bank, and never disclose important information over the phone: Always beware of phishing attempts involving FD. To do this, avoid responding to strange emails, calls, or messages asking for your FD account number or other personal information.
  • What can you do to stay safe?

    To do-

  • Always provide accurate nomination information in designated nomination areas
  • In the contact information area, be sure to provide your active or current phone number and email address
  • Always book FD direct through the bank/NBFC portal or pay with a check payable to the bank/NBFC
  • If a request comes from the branch, verify that the information on the request form is correct. Also, before submitting your documents to the bank/NBFC official, make sure they are genuine
  • Not to do-

  • For any KYC change request or financial transaction, do not disclose your OTP to any third party
  • Never give your handset/mobile to a third party for financial transactions or KYC changes
  • Do not issue blank checks/self-checks for FD reservations and always include “bank/NBFC” in the payee field of the account
  • Never give out your banking, EMI or credit card information to any third party. Telemarketers often claim to belong to any NBFC or bank. However, it is essential to be aware of these fraudulent calls and to avoid them at all costs.
  • Do not pay any advance fees or any cash or digital payment to persons posing as bank/NBFC representatives for FD booking
  • Customers should not share their personal or financial information with anyone. The only method to distinguish fake agents from legitimate agents is to remember that no representative will ever ask for personal information such as a password, OTP, CVV or card number over the phone, e- email or in any other way.

    If your bank account has been unexpectedly debited and a “bank official” calls to rectify the problem, always check the caller before answering or taking any action. If you believe you have been the victim of fixed deposit fraud, file an FIR with local law enforcement and notify your bank or NBFC partner.

    —The author, Fakhari Sarjan, Chief Risk Officer, Bajaj Finance Ltd. Opinions expressed are personal

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