Fictitious Emails, SMS And Phone Calls
The convenience of digital banking has come with its own vices. Customers often receive emails where someone wants to leave them their inheritance of millions of dollars and are asked to share their bank account details to receive the money. While reading this, Satish remembered an email he received a few days back about someone in distress in Europe asking for some financial assistance from him.
These emails are called Fictitious Emails. Unfortunately, they are not restricted to emails only. Such requests are also sent via SMS. Sometimes, customers receive phone calls where people claim to provide them some gifts and ask for confidential details such as ATM PIN, CVV number, and the expiry date of cards over the phone. It is important to remember that banks never communicate with customers asking for confidential data.
In banking terms, the process of obtaining confidential banking information through any channel is known as Phishing. All banks send communications to customers at regular intervals requesting not to reply to phishing emails, SMS, and phone calls.
Ways to identify a fictitious email, SMS or Phone Call
Even the smartest customer can get conned at the wrong time. Here are a few things that can help customers understand that communication is fictitious:
- Any communication requesting personal information such as password, PIN, debit/credit card details, date of birth, etc. will be fictitious. Banks never ask for such confidential data except for the date of birth.
- Any email containing links to download unknown attachments can be fictitious. If the customer has used net banking on the computer through which he clicks on such links or downloads unknown files, the net banking password can be hacked.
- Any requests by institutions customers don't have a relationship with should be kept under suspicion. Apart from promotional emails/SMS, any institution where customers don't have an account will not ask for customer details.
- Any phone call from people claiming to be calling from banks and asking for personal details.
- Any communication mentioning that the customer has won a lottery has inherited money from an unknown source, someone is in distress, and anything which is suspicious.
What should a customer do if such communication is received?
First and foremost, the customer should not panic. A lot of mistakes happen because of panicking. Often people call over the phone and talk in a hurried manner so that the customer panics and gives out confidential information. Bank representatives have a protocol to follow. They will never speak in a hurried manner.
If the communication is an email or SMS, the same has to be deleted immediately. In case of an email, customers need to ensure that the same has been deleted from their trash folder as well.
In case a customer mistakenly replies to such communication, he/she should inform the bank immediately to help them take precautionary measures.