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Here's how banks are coping with surge in cyber attacks, phishing, fraud

New Delhi, May 5, 2023

An RBI report on financial stability highlighted that the overall number of online banking frauds and card frauds increased from 1,532 in H1FY22 to 2,321 in H1FY23

With a surge in online frauds, large banks are working extra hard to raise awareness among customers as well as their own employees, the Financial Express (FE) reported.

These lenders are aggressively working towards eliminating the threats of online fraud.

In the past one year, HDFC Bank has sent more than 8.5 million emails and 20 million messages to customers to spread awareness on how to avoid scamsters, Ravi Santhanam, the chief marketing officer (CMO) at the bank, told FE.

The bank also carried out over 5,900 training programme on fraud awareness and secure banking, covering more than 62,500 customers. From newspaper advertisements, net banking, and digital media, to bank applications, the lender is using whatever channel is available to increase the reach of awareness campaigns.

Similarly, ICICI Bank asks customers to check every transaction via SMS or email alerts and report to the bank on irregularities. The bank also sends reminders to customers to stay vigilant and warns them not to share OTP, URN, password, CVV with anyone, a spokesperson from the bank told FE.

The latest move by the bank is a new feature in its iMobile Pay app, which does not allow any screen-sharing application, the report said.

Many big lenders are also collaborating with influencers and actors to spread awareness regarding online banking frauds.

The challenges from online frauds have only increased with scamsters bringing in newer techniques like impersonating an employer, using dark web for cyberattacks and using social engineering techniques.

One such example is the 'Boss Scam', where the frauds impersonate a top company official to trick employees in transferring money, buying gifts or clicking on suspicious links, the report said.

Quoting V Vaidyanathan, MD & CEO at IDFC First Bank, the report said that these online frauds are a “very serious issue” and the IDFC First Bank is spreading awareness among customers via website, mobile application, and other means to insist on an OTP (one-time password) for certain transactions and SIM-binding, and so on. The bank has also introduced a penalty for employees for clicking on a phishing link.

The Financial Stability Report released in December 2022 by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) showed an overall decrease in the amount lost to banking frauds from Rs 36,316 crore in H1FY22 (April-September) to Rs 19,485 crore in H1FY23.

However, fraud from card and internet banking increased from Rs 60 crore in H1FY22 to Rs 87 crore in H1FY23.

The RBI report highlighted that the overall number of online banking frauds and card frauds increased from 1,532 in H1FY22 to 2,321 in H1FY23.

[The Business Standard]

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