With the rise of digital banking, scammers are targeting innocent people and are trying to rob them of their hard-earned money. A wave of fraudulent messages, attempting to steal people’s money, is being reported and customers of major banks like HDFC and SBI are being affected. Such scams have been taking place for the last couple of months but have become more prevalent in the last few weeks. The scammers send out fraudulent messages that appear to be from the banks themselves, asking them to update their account details or PAN card information.
In some cases, these messages say that the customer’s account will be ‘blocked’ if they fail to update their details. These messages are intended to cause a state of panic to the customer, in the hopes that he/she will take action immediately and will fill out the PAN card or account details. Once this information is entered by the customers, the scammers can easily access the customers’ bank accounts and steal their money.
For instance, a phishing SMS shared on Twitter by user Sanghamitra Mazumdar, read, ” HDFC Customer your HDFC NET BANKING will be suspended today please update your PAN card now visit below the link.” The message also includes a link directing the customer to fill out information.
Another user reported receiving a message that read, “Dear customer your HDFC account will be hold today please update your KYC immediately. Click here.”
Last year, SBI also made headlines after people reported receiving text messages that warned them about their ‘YONO account being deactivated’. The message read, “Dear Customer, your SBI YONO Account is Closed Today Contact now And Update your PAN NUMBER in the following link.” The text message even included the name of the customer in some cases.
At a casual glance, it may look like these messages are directly from the bank. However, a more in-depth look will make it evident that the message is being sent by someone who is trying to trick the customer into providing his/her login credentials and personal information. If the scammers succeed in obtaining this information, they use it to steal money from the victim’s account.
Both HDFC Bank and SBI have issued warnings to their customers about the scam. They have advised their customers to be cautious and not to share their personal information with anyone.
Replying to a user’s tweet about the scam, HDFC Bank Care tweeted, “Hi Sanghamitra, we request you not to respond to unknown numbers asking for Pan Card / KYC update or any other banking information. HDFC Bank will always send messages from their official ID hdfcbk / hdfcbn and links in these messages will always be under http://hdfcbk.io.”
PIB Fact Check had also warned its customers via a tweet last year. “A #Fake message issued in the name of SBI is asking customers to update their PAN number to avoid their account from getting blocked. Never respond to emails/SMS asking to share your personal or banking details. SBI never asks for personal details through messages,” the government’s official fact-checker said.