Phishing is a form of fraud, which is used to get important information such as your username, password and other financial details like bank account number, ATM pin, credit/debit card number, etc. It is extracted either directly from you, or indirectly through your computer.
There are individuals and organizations that engage in such illegal activities for their own benefit, which are called hackers or fraudsters. Fraudsters try to obtain your personal details over calls or e-mails by posing either as the representatives of Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) or Insurance companies.
Hackers on the other hand, are the individuals who steal information by breaking the complex procedures that secure information on computers. This information is then misused for cyber crimes such as theft and impersonation.
Common Methods used by Fraudsters:
- The name and registered logo of an insurance company or IRDAI is often misused for sending false information about bonuses and/or other financial benefits.
- Fraudsters use fake e-mail IDs or phone numbers and claim to be from an authentic source. They may also ask you to send personal information immediately with the purpose of misleading you.
- Fraudsters may also ask you to make payments in order to avail fake offers, bonuses or benefits by depositing cash or sending demand drafts or cheques.
How to safeguard yourself:
- Beware of e-mails from suspicious e-mail addresses that claim to be from IRDAI or from your Life Insurance Company. These e-mails may urge you to make certain payments immediately. For example, statements like ‘Provide details within 48 hours or else your policy will be cancelled’, etc. will not be sent either by IRDAI or your insurance company.
- Beware of e-mails that greet you with ‘Dear User’ or ‘Dear Valued Customer’, etc. instead of using your name, as these e-mails are sent in bulk to mislead a large number of people.
- Do not open e-mail attachments or click on links sent by an unknown sender or source. These attachments and links may contain files that when downloaded, track the important details stored on your computer that could be misused. Also, never reply to e-mails that have been marked spam as it makes your computer prone to fraud attacks.
Note: IRDAI or its officials do not sell any kind of insurance or financial products, invest premiums nor announce any bonus. In case of any such phone calls, you are requested to lodge a police complaint along with details of the phone call.