By: Chandrashree Singh

Frauds have moved from a physical space to virtual space as technology has developed and this has become a big financial threat to our country’s economy over time.

India is ranked 3rd after the United States and China in terms of Cyber Crime incidents. People are getting duped by different types of frauds such as Card Skimming, Card Trapping, Shoulder Surfing, Pharming, Key-stroke Logging, Malware, Phishing and Fishing, False Front, Fake Keypad etc.

In December 2017, Ravi Shankar Prasad, the Minister for Information Technology, said that there were over 25,800 cases of digital fraud in India in 2017, resulting in the theft of nearly 1.8 billion rupees. 

On 19 October 2018, the country woke up to a banking nightmare. The State Bank of India (SBI) blocked 6 lakh debit cards after a reported malware-related breach in a non-SBI ATM network. In what is possibly India’s largest financial data breach, nearly 32 lakh debit cards across 19 banks, including HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, and Axis Bank, were compromised. As per the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), 90 ATMs were impacted and at least 641 customers lost Rs 1.3 crore in a fraudulent transaction. (Source – Economic Times, follow the link to read more: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/wealth/spend/how-to-avoid-card-fraud/articleshow/55127030.cms )

While the fraudsters are at work, the banks have tried to alert their customers at their best. Many ATM machines have been upgraded throughout different banks in order to avoid several schemes of fraudsters from stealing the customer data and money.

Recently the State Bank of India has introduced a new process to re-activate the online transactions for its customers in case the service has been blocked for them.

If you see the following message on your phone – “Your SBI Debit card ending with XX8370  is deactivated only for Internet txn. To activate send SMS “SWON ECOM XXXX” to 09223966666 ( where XXXX is the last 4 digits of your debit card number) No change for ATM/POS usage.“  Kindly follow the procedure mentioned in the text.

This process has been verified and it is the standard process to unblock your SBI ATM Card for online transactions as per SBI Regulations and Guidelines. Those sources that declare this procedure as a hoax are invalid.

This has been done by SBI in order to protect your transaction from the fraudsters operating online to steal your data and misguide you to make a payment to a duplicate website or merchandise, which is called Pharming.

In the cyber and physical space of the modern day where technological developments have given rise to a vast number of issues, one being crippling financial institutions, it is important to be aware of how to keep oneself protected from the possible threats and how to monitor and maintain privacy at its best on your own level.

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