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Fraudsters exploiting 3-month loan moratorium; everybody needs to be cautious: HDFC Bank

Mumbai: Largest private sector lender HDFC Bank on Thursday said fraudsters are exploiting the three-month loan repayment moratorium to execute their designs, and asked everybody to be extra cautious.

The bank, however, clarified that it does not have a single incident of a fraud being noted yet, but is going by anecdotal evidence and market intelligence to caution everybody.

The RBI had left it to banks for implementing the moratorium, which has resulted in communication with bank being an essential part for taking benefit of the scheme.

HDFC Bank Chief Information Security Officer Sameer Ratolikar said the fraudsters are always on the look-out for newer reasons to execute their designs and the EMI moratorium has emerged as a favourite one.

This is being executed by deploying several modus operandi, including calling the gullible people “offering” a moratorium on their loans which results in sending of some web links to compromise personal data or send messages over SMS or WhatsApp, he said.

Some of them also send links for installing dubious unrated apps on their phones through which many compromises become possible, he said.

Ratolikar said the key aspect for customers is not to share one-time passwords (OTPs), personal identification numbers or other confidential details like CVV numbers of their cards, making it clear that any transaction cannot go through without these details.

He also made it clear that no bank will approach a customer seeking these confidential details and anybody seeking such information should immediately trigger suspicion in the minds of people.

Even though most of the instances of suspect transactions are under the guise of “help” on moratorium, there can be other means that can be deployed as well, including relief efforts for the COVID-19 pandemic. AA HRS

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