I totally relate to the feeling of your bank account hacked as I have been through the same trauma and it completely gets you in a vulnerable position, unable to act and sense the situation. Payment fraud is obviously a nightmare turned into reality. In todays blog I shall be discussing on how I reacted and the steps I took which helped me get my lost money back and the takeaways from the incident which happened with me.
My experience of the payment fraud might help you to react in a better way during the incident as well as stay cautious so that it saves you from the incident completely.
Step 1: The Phone Call – (Ways to stay protected)
It all started with a phone call claiming to be from my mobile service provider. On asking me to update my network plan and make a small transaction of 1Rupee which would otherwise lead to a permanent disconnection. He was clever enough to build the trust and con me into downloading a particular application and undertaking the transaction, which then resulted in auto-deduction of my funds.
While talking to him, surprisingly I was unable to find out that my money was illegally being deducted. To my luck, I tried checking my notifications and realized I was hacked, and I was left numb……
A phone call which scammed me could also be in the form of a text message, an email, a WhatsApp message, or an unsecured website to which you could fall prey to. The first step you can take to prevent from getting your bank account hacked is to identify the payment fraud.
I was unaware of the payment fraud and the many ways to identify it beforehand. But you can protect yourself and your bank account through the following ways:
- Suspicious emails or calls: Do not click links or disclose personal information if you receive text messages, emails or phone calls claiming to be from your bank, network service provider, discount offer, loan offer or any other similar sources. It is very important that you do not entertain the scammer by talking to him or clicking any link, instead, immediately alert your bank so they are aware that you are a potential target and can take the required measures.
- Unusual Transactions: Always keep a tab of your bank statements and make sure there aren’t any unusual transactions taken place. It starts with a small deduction of amount which seems very miniscule at the start but may lead to huge chunks of money if not paid attention.
- Changes to your account information: Pay close attention to your bank account details and make sure they aren’t changed without your notice or approval. If you find changes in your account information, such as your address or phone number, it is a clear indication to immediately report to your bank before an incident occurs.
Step 2: The F.I.R Complain – (Reporting the hack)
On realizing that I was hacked, I hung up the call immediately and without thinking for a second, blocked my account through the bank website. I rushed to file a F.I.R against the payment fraud. The police were more than helpful and appreciated the quickness of my action towards the fraud. The case was then redirected to the Cyber Security Branch who took certain details and took the case forward. I then visited my bank branch and filled a fraud claim form, thus immediately undertaking the steps to retrieve my money.
The sole reason which helped the police, and the cyber security branch was me addressing the hack within 24 hours. These were the corrective actions that were taken by me. The various measures that you can take depending on your situation is as follows :-
- Block your Bank Account: After a hacker has gained access to your account, they can use it to perform various malicious activities like making unauthorized use of your personal information and making various transactions which can lead to huge money loss. By blocking or deactivating your account, you can prevent the hacker to gain further access to it and secure yourself from greater damages.
- Contact your bank immediately: It can be quite frustrating to report your hack to a bank. However, to protect your finances, you must act quickly and remain vigilant. You can help minimize the damage caused by the hack and keep your bank account secure by providing the necessary information and following your bank’s instructions. Reporting your scam with the Bank or Cyber Security Cell within 24hrs can increase the chances of getting your money back.
- Provide details of the hack: Make sure that you provide all the possible details to the bank including the suspicious emails and text messages and any unusual transactions or activity that you noticed on your account. Providing appropriate details to the bank will help them to take quick measures as well as prevent your account from being hacked in the future.
In case of any fraud with you, you may contact 155260 which is the national helpline for cyber fraud prevention.
Step 3: The Redressal of my Money – (Resolving the hack)
Due to the immediate reporting of the payment fraud, the cybersecurity branch took the case forward and were able to track the hacker who was stationed at a distinct place. They were able to block the account of the hacker resulting in me getting my funds back.
The result of me acting quickly helped me saving my bank account but the different ways in which you can get your money back are :
- Determine the scope of the damage: The bank’s IT team will determine the scope of the damage caused by the hack. Examining logs, system files, and other relevant information to determine the scope of the hack and what data was accessed or stolen will be required.
- Notify authorities: Depending on the nature and severity of the hack, the bank may be required to notify law enforcement agencies such as the police or the FBI. The bank will provide details about the incident and will collaborate with authorities to resolve it.
- Notify affected customers: If the hack involves the theft of customer data, the bank must notify those affected as soon as possible. This notification will include information about the incident, what data was stolen, and how customers can protect themselves.
- Implement additional security measures: To prevent future hacks, the bank will implement additional security measures. Strengthening the bank’s cybersecurity systems, reviewing access controls, and updating security policies and procedures may be part of this.
After the investigation is finished, the bank will conduct a post-incident review to identify any weaknesses or gaps in its security measures. This information will be used by the bank to improve its cybersecurity systems and reduce the risk of future hacks.
Step 4: Preventing Future Hacks
The experience of my bank account being hacked due to payment fraud was traumatizing for me. If you want to save yourself from falling into such payment frauds, these are a list of recommendations which will help you stay secured.
- Acting against the trap of hackers: When on a call, avoid following the instructions of the person on the other side especially if you’re advised to download any application which in turn helps them to access your account as well as get hold of your personal details.
- Change your passwords and pins: To prevent your new account from Payment Fraud and Bank Account Hack, it is crucial that you change your passwords periodically. A strong password will serve as a shield to your bank account. Use complex passwords and just like your ATM Pin do not share it with anyone. Avoid using common words and character combinations.
- Identity theft protection services: Identity theft protection services give you peace of mind by protecting you against payment fraud and bank account hacked as well as monitoring your credit card reports and other financial information related to your account and also helps in alerting you against suspicious activity. Identity theft protection services can also save you time and money by having a team of experts that in navigating and resolving any issues that arise. This early detection can assist you in minimizing the harm done by identity thieves and protecting your credit score.
- Multi-factor authentication: A multi-factor authentication is an extra security credentials like a passcode on your phone, fingerprint scan or an OTP which adds an extra layer of security to your accounts. This method at a great extent reduces the chances of a payment fraud and protects your bank account hacked. It might take an extra effort to enable this method but it is worth it as it protect your account. This method has been hugely promoted by banks across the globe and by many other organizations for the safety of their employees.
- Use a VPN : Your internet traffic is encrypted as well as routed through the VPN’s servers which helps make it difficult for others to view your online activity. A VPN can help you with a variety of things which includes protecting your online privacy , accessing restricted content, and avoiding online tracking. It can also help safeguard you against malware, phishing attacks, and other types of cyber threats.
- Be Vigilant: Even after taking all necessary steps to combat payment fraud, it is critical to remain vigilant. This includes being cautious about who you share personal information with, as well as regularly monitoring your account and credit report. Always be on the lookout for suspicious links and avoid opening attachments from unknown sources.
Being a live victim to the payment fraud or bank account hacked, I can say that it is a very terrifying and an unforgettable experience but if the right actions are taken pre or post the event it can really help you avoid it or at least reduce the impact. As the famous saying goes “Prevention is better than cure”, I strongly suggest that you should take that extra effort to make sure you have taken all the necessary means of protection against payment fraud or bank account hacked.
Even after your bank account is hacked leaving you feeling helpless, always remember that there are resources available to help you, whether you need to contact your bank, report the fraud to authorities, or seek professional advice. The most important aspect here is to stay well informed and vigilant. Stay Safe, Stay Secured!
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