Online Fraud Awareness

Tips to save yourself from online fraud while taking an online loan

Due to restrictions on movement caused by the COVID pandemic, there has been a shift towards digital payments. We can see examples of this in our day-to-day life. We prefer to do all our payments digitally rather than visit local grocery stores, malls, and markets. The way people borrow money has also been affected by digitization. In this era of touchless transactions, online personal loans have become more convenient and digital, allowing customers to access funds online faster with less documentation.

However, in times of urgent financial need, especially such times, you must not fail to consider the possibility of digital fraud while applying for a digital personal loan.

The world is passing through a difficult period and the emotional and financial upheaval caused by the pandemic has left people vulnerable. Such times are ideal for fraudsters who look for new ways to earn money. With so many people at home and spending so much time online, the opportunity to get scammed is tempting for some unscrupulous individuals.

Here are some red flags that you may be dealing with an online loan scam:

1. First and foremost, it is important to recognize that one of the most common methods of these fraudsters is to make random phone calls, SMS and WhatsApp communications and obtain the personal information of the victim.

2. Instead of knowing your credit history or score, the scammer will focus on obtaining personal information such as Aadhaar or PAN card number and bank account number.

3. They may also require advance payment for loan processing or GST. On the other hand, these charges are assessed after the loan is granted.

4. They will present you with a limited time deal and give you very little time to decide.

5. They shall also refrain from disclosing their registered address or any other information about their company.

Here are some effective techniques to avoid such frauds:

1. Keep your sensitive personal information private:

Bank officials will never ask for sensitive personal information or financial details over phone, email, or SMS. As a result, never give your personal information to an unknown third-party agent.

2. Only verified apps should be used:

There are many companies out there that provide banking and finance services. It is recommended that you only use verified lending apps, otherwise you may become the next victim of an online scam.

3. Verify that the website you are visiting is secure:

Secure websites are usually prefixed by HTTPS:// instead of just HTTP://. Check to see if the website you are visiting is safe and secure.

4. Beware of Phishing Calls, SMS, and Emails:

A phishing caller can pose as an employee of a bank or financial institution and ask for personal information. Never give such information over the phone, via SMS or by email. If you come across something like this, immediately report it to the appropriate authorities.

5. Use a secure internet connection:

Whenever you make a payment or submit any sensitive personal financial information, you should ensure that you are logged into a secure network. Avoid using any unsecured public Wi-Fi connection that may give access to cybercriminals.

Your personal information is just like a goldmine for the scammers

What makes you a target for cybercriminals? Fraudsters seek a similar identity to you to avoid creating doubts about their activities.

  • How can you protect your personal information?

    Limit how much information you provide to keep it safe. Use it only when necessary. When registering an account on a website, it may seem normal to submit your first and last name as well as your address, but if a security breach occurs on the website, the information could fall into the hands of scammers.
     
  • How can you secure your login information?

    A cybercriminal can gain access to your accounts and use your username and password to commit internet fraud. Your login information can potentially be sold to other cybercriminals on the dark web, an unregulated section of the Internet associated with illegal activities.

    Create a strong password that is unique for each account and enable two-factor authentication whenever it is available to prevent your login information from being stolen. Keep your software and antivirus always updated to protect your home computer.

How to stay protected from online fraud:

  • Awareness:

    While reading the newspaper or watching the news, be on the lookout for anything suspicious. New loan scams and frauds are reported regularly and being aware will help you avoid becoming a victim.
     
  • Confidential and personal information must remain personal:

    Do not give out personal information over the phone, by email, or in online chat rooms. You should approach the banks or other financial institutions with which you do business. Keep your credit card information away from unencrypted email accounts and don't save passwords in plain text on your computer or phone. Use a password manager there are many solutions available, and they are easy to install.
     
  • Password and PIN must be changed frequently:

    Password and PIN should be changed at least twice a year. Plus, join for a free service that will notify you if any of your internet accounts have been hacked.
     
  • Track your credit report:

    It's a good idea to check your bank statement once a month but ordering your credit report is even better. They will show you if someone is taking advantage of your identity to make purchases that do not appear on your normal statements.
     
  • Tear old documents:

    When you no longer need a document that contains your personal information, cut it out. If you are self-employed, keep in mind that you must keep records of your earnings for at least 5 years after filing your tax return.
     
  • Keep akeen eye out for strange transactions:

    Set up all the additional security features on your corporate and personal bank accounts. Protecting yourself from fraud can be very simple and easy as using two-factor authentication and receiving text message notifications about suspicious transactions.
     
  • Do not open unsolicited content sent to you:

    Do not open links to photos, videos and any attachments sent to you via mail by unknown senders.

What to do if you have become a victim of an online instant personal loanscam?

If you have fallen victim to an unauthorized lending website or app, don't panic. Firstly, reach the nearest police station to report the matter, and after taking the required information, uninstall the mobile application immediately. You will be saved from harassment and hassle.Never download personal loan apps that are unauthorized and always check user ratings and reviews before downloading. And, before signing or accepting the loan terms, check your EMI using the Personal Loan EMI Calculator and compare it with the EMI amount offered by the lender.

To conclude

If you are looking for a quick, secure, and online instant personal loan choosing top lenders like Poonawalla Fincorp is the best option to stay away from frauds. Poonawalla Fincorp Loan application process is short and simple and instant approval is granted once the online KYC is completed.

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