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Shield Your Savings

20 Apr 2024 - Tushar
Reading time about 3 minutes

The world of mutual funds offers a path to financial growth, but it also attracts cybercriminals seeking to exploit unsuspecting investors.

Cyber Frauds

Here are 11 recent cyber fraud techniques making headlines, specifically relevant to mutual fund investors, to help you safeguard your hard-earned money.

Fake KYC verification

Cybercriminals might call you pretending to be bank/mutual fund representatives and request your KYC details for verification. They might even try to convince you to install remote access software to “help” you with the process. Mutual Fund related KYC can always be verified from KYC Registration Agency (KRA) websites directly.

Links for checking your KYC status

Phishing for Fund Logins

Emails or calls claiming to be from your mutual fund company (AMC) requesting urgent action to “verify your account” or avoid “service interruptions” are a red flag. Never click on links or share personal information through unsolicited channels.

“Get Rich Quick” Investment Schemes

Beware of unsolicited investment advice, especially via social media or email. Promises of unrealistic returns or pressure to invest quickly in “hot new funds or stocks” are strong indicators of fraud.

Fake Investment Apps

These malicious apps masquerade as legitimate platforms for trading stocks, cryptocurrency, or mutual funds. They can be found in unofficial app stores or through deceptive advertising. Once downloaded, these apps can steal your financial information in several ways.

Tech Support Scams with a Twist

Pop-up warnings claiming your device is infected and linked to your mutual fund accounts are a tactic to steal login credentials. Don’t call the provided number; contact your AMC directly through verified channels.

Smishing About Statements

Spammy text messages (smishing) can appear to come from your AMC, urging you to click on a link to “view your latest statement.” Never click on suspicious links; access your statements through the official AMC website or app.

Fake Charity and “Cause Investing” Scams

Cybercriminals may exploit your desire to invest with a social conscience. Research any charity or “cause investing” opportunity thoroughly before donating or investing.

Investment Advisor Impersonation

Fraudsters might pose as financial advisors, offering “exclusive investment opportunities” or manipulating victims into making risky decisions. Verify the advisor’s credentials through your AMC or relevant financial institutions.

Adding to Investment Tips Groups

Scammers are gaining access to phone numbers and adding unsuspecting users to WhatsApp and Instagram groups. These groups often spread misinformation or promote fake stock tips. Update your WhatsApp settings to allow only your contacts to add you to groups. While Instagram does not provide any direct way to prevent this, but you can alwasy report the scammer and leave the chat.

Fake Invoice Scams

Be wary of invoices for “processing fees” or “account maintenance” from unknown senders. Verify the information directly with your AMC before making any payments.

Romance Scams Targeting Investors

Fraudulent relationships built online can exploit your financial security. Don’t share personal financial information or invest based on someone you haven’t met in person and verified.

Data Breaches and Identity Theft

While not a direct scam, data breaches can expose your personal information. Use strong, unique passwords for all your financial accounts and enable two-factor authentication wherever possible.

Remember

  • Stay informed: Regularly check your account statements and contact your AMC if you notice any suspicious activity.
  • Be skeptical: Don’t fall for pressure tactics or promises of unrealistic returns.
  • Verify everything: Always confirm information directly with your AMC before taking any action.
  • Report suspicious activity: Inform your AMC and report the scam by calling the National Cyber Crime helpline at 1930.
  • Also, complain on National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal https://www.cybercrime.gov.in/

By staying vigilant and informed, you can protect your mutual fund investments and build a secure financial future.

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