With the development of technology, banking services are now accessible online. You can conveniently manage your finances and conduct transactions digitally. However, doing so also involves sharing your sensitive data through digital channels. A cybersecurity insurance policy is apt to protect your bank credentials from varied online security threats. But in some cases, even the protection measures prove futile if you are not careful. That is precisely the case with OTP frauds. Here are some tips to protect yourself against OTP scams.
OTP and OTP-related frauds – A Brief Introduction
One-Time Password, widely referred to by the abbreviation OTP, is a two-factor authentication feature that prevents unauthorised access to your private information. You need to enter or provide this OTP while conducting various types of financial transactions like bill payments, online shopping, fund transfers, etc.
Today, OTP-related frauds have become increasingly common, with cyber attackers using scheming techniques to access your OTP. These frauds are committed in multiple ways. As OTPs are personal to your email ID or mobile number registered with the service provider, cyber attackers cannot access them without scamming you. They either steal your OTP without your knowledge or scam you into revealing the OTP by using fraudulent tactics. In both cases, you can prevent yourself from becoming a target through OTP fraud awareness and prevention.
OTP fraud prevention techniques
You can implement the following techniques to secure yourself from OTP frauds:
Beware of unsolicited calls
OTP scammers often use phone calls, SMS, or emails to trick you into sharing your OTP. They pose as bank representatives, lenders, and other service providers, typically creating an urgency to get the OTP from you. It is important to note that legitimate institutions or companies do not ask for your OTP unless you initiate a transaction that prompts two-factor authentication. Hence, it is best to stay cautious of unsolicited sources.
Safeguard your sensitive information
By keeping your OTP, personal details, and account information private, you are not giving scammers a chance to trick you. They cannot access your basic details to successfully impersonate your bank or other legitimate organisations. Hence, you should avoid sharing these details over the phone, writing them down, or leaving them on unprotected networks.
Stay cautious of suspicious links
Fraudsters send malware-infested links under various pretexts like declaring a cash price, offering discounts, etc. Some attackers also impersonate service providers. You should never click on any of these links as they are used to read your device and capture OTPs. Always manually search for apps or websites instead of clicking on suspicious links.
Avoid unknown/non-verified apps
Upon downloading an app, you often need to grant permissions to access your device’s camera, photo gallery, etc. Sometimes, approving these permissions becomes necessary for KYC formalities and SMS alerts. But if a suspicious app asks for access to these functions, it can easily steal your OTP and much more. Hence, you should only download legitimate apps and grant only the necessary permissions.
Transact through secure networks
Public Wi-Fi networks tend to be risky. Scammers can use these networks to spy on your online activities and steal your sensitive information, including OTPs. When you transact through secure networks, like your home Wi-Fi or a trusted Virtual Private Network (VPN), you prevent others from accessing your confidential data.
Double-check the source
As awareness of OTP fraud prevention techniques is increasing, scammers have come up with new ways to trick you. Sometimes, their messages or emails are indistinguishable from those of legitimate sources. But they cannot duplicate the source. Hence, you should verify the sender’s number, email ID, and other details to authenticate the medium.
Update contact details
If you have changed your email ID or mobile number, ensure you update it with your bank and other financial institutions. Doing so gives you more control over your accounts. By updating your contact details on time, you can redirect important alerts like OTPs, logins, etc., to your new number and avoid unauthorised access.
Track your account activity
Sometimes, scammers ensure you stay unaware of your account being hacked to continue exploiting your financial information. They may make small transactions initially to avoid drawing your attention. By tracking your account activity through mobile apps or websites, you can detect such suspicious attempts and report them immediately.
Get cybersecurity insurance for ultimate protection
Now that you know how to avoid OTP fraud, you can confidently transact online. To protect your transactions further, you can invest in cyber insurance, a type of general insurance policy that safeguards your digital activities. Cyber insurance plans protect you against cybercrimes like phishing, malware, ransomware, data theft, data extortion, etc. With cybersecurity insurance, you can legally and financially protect yourself, should you ever face the repercussions of a cyber fraud.
FAQsHow to stay safe from OTP phishing?
To stay safe from OTP phishing, you must never share your OTP with anyone. You must also avoid clicking on suspicious links and only enter OTPs on trusted websites or apps. Also, be cautious of unexpected requests for OTPs and double-check the sender’s identity.How can I verify if an email/SMS requesting an OTP is genuine?
To verify if an email/SMS requesting an OTP is genuine, you must confirm the sender’s identity through their official contact information. Additionally, you should check for spelling errors, unusual language, and casual greetings.Can I use the same OTP for multiple transactions?
No, you cannot. Each OTP is designed for one-time use and provides security by being unique to each transaction. Hence, you cannot reuse it for multiple transactions.What should I do if I receive a suspicious call/message requesting an OTP?
If you receive a suspicious call/message requesting an OTP, do not share the OTP. Hang up the call or delete the message. You should also block and report such communication.Can scammers access my account just by knowing my OTP?
No, they cannot. The OTP is a temporary code used for authentication. It is not enough for scammers to access your account. They would need additional information like your username, password, or personal details.Disclaimer: The above information is indicative in nature. For more details on the risk factor, terms and conditions, please refer to the Sales Brochure and Policy Wordings carefully before concluding.