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Thread: How to Avoid Debit Card Frauds in India

  1. #1
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    Lightbulb How to Avoid Debit Card Frauds in India

    Credit Card fraud is nothing new to anyone in India or the world but now people are getting used to Debit Card frauds in India also as Debit Card frauds are on the rise and the fraudsters are using advanced technology and techniques to con the unsuspecting card owner and siphon their bank accounts.

    Statistics of the RBI (Reserve Bank of India) state that there are now over 100 million debit card users in India and the number is on the rise, particularly after lots of frauds and complaints of dubious charges being imposed by the bank on credit cards in India. But debit cards can be even worse as there is no grace period in a debit card to contest a transaction and the money is already siphoned from your bank account once a purchase is being made with the card or a cloned one. With many banks issuing overdraft facilities it could be doomsday for a customer whose debit card has been stolen or cloned.

    In March 2011 the Mumbai Crime branch busted an international racket that used to dupe NRIs by duplicating their debit cards using an extremely advanced software known as Magnetic Software Recognition Writer (MSRW), Polaroid card printers and laptops and then use the duplicate cards to purchase expensive items.

    In January 2012 a software engineer from Pune lost Rs. 98,000 from her bank account after she received two SMS alerts of purchases of Rs. 93000 and Rs. 5000 from her ICICI bank account using debit card. The police inferred the crime as cloned card fraud using stolen data details.

    In May 2011 the Hyderabad police nabbed a gang of three that were an inter-state-gang engaged in the credit and debit card frauds by using cloned debit and credit cards from stolen confidential data of bank customers.

    These are no isolated cases. Such frauds are happening even as I begin to make you aware of this scourge. Tomorrow the same story could be repeated with your or my debit card, so we need to be aware of the dangers that lie ahead of us and take preventive measures to save ourselves from debit card frauds.

    Things are getting such tough that we are nowhere safe now. Thieves have installed Skimmer devices – electronic devices that are used to copy card or bank account information – now everywhere, be it restaurants, ATMs, shopping malls, petrol pumps, bars, or somewhere else, waiting to dupe you while you are totally unaware.


    One of such countless ATM skimmer devices

    Therefore it is more important to be alert about your debit card safety and debit card usage. Here are some tips that can save you from the thieves:

    (1) Keep your PIN number confidential

    Do not give your debit card number or the confidential PIN (Personal Identification Number) to anybody or write down anywhere. Even if somebody identifies him or her as a bank employee and asks you to provide the details of your debit card or bank account for checking or any other purpose just ignore them. Contact the bank immediately. Banks have repeatedly advised the customers not to respond to such fraudulent phone calls or emails.

    (2) Don’t lose site of your debit card

    If you are dining in a restaurant or buying petrol from a petrol pump, while paying with your debit card never lose site of your debit card. In your absence a swindler may swipe your debit card through a skimmer device and copy the bank account information and security codes to make a cloned card. So do the transactions in your presence and insist on it.

    (3) Use only ATMs at a bank branch

    Be careful not to use your debit card to withdraw money from ATMs that are not located at the branches of the bank that had issued the card to you, for example, in subways, departmental stores, airports, cinema halls or other places, where a thief might have installed a skimmer device to steal the confidential information of your card. Use only ATMs at the bank branches and immediately report to the bank, if you sniff anything suspicious.

    (4) Check balance and change PIN number

    Check your balance regularly; if possible everyday, and keep changing your PIN number quite often and don’t write it down anywhere, just memorize it and don’t use common number combinations like date of birth, car number, etc. If you have to use your debit card somewhere you aren’t sure of, then immediately after completing the transaction go to the nearest ATM of the bank and change your PIN number.

    (5) Use more secure debit cards only

    Use such debit cards (usually card with the maestro logo on them) that require you to key your PIN number when you are making purchases at a departmental store or petrol pump or somewhere else and key the numbers by yourself and don’t mention your PIN number even if the owner of the business premise or any other employee asks you of the same for the sake of your convenience.

    (6) Don’t use debit cards online

    Don’t use your debit card to make online payments, as it is fraught with danger of the confidential data of your card being stolen by hackers and cheats prowling on the Internet. Instead use Virtual Credit Cards that have a time limit of 24 to 48 hours and also a fund limit specified by you. Several banks like HDFC, ICICI, Kotak Mahindra, Axis and few other banks give such facilities to the customer. Contact your bank for relevant details.

    (7) Register for SMS alert for purchases

    Register your mobile number with the bank branch to get SMS alerts on your phone for all online purchases and as soon as you get any alert of a purchase you haven’t made, immediately call the toll free help number of the bank and block your card. Then go to the police station and file a complaint about your card being stolen and contact your branch with a copy of the complaint to stake your claim of being duped, demanding a refund of the lost amount. If your bank doesn’t agree to your claims then contact the banking ombudsman in your area with relevant details.

    (8) Use debit card for low balance accounts

    Don’t use your debit card for shopping purposes or making other purchases for a bank account that has a large bank balance. Instead open another simultaneous bank account and transfer limited funds to it, so that even if your card or its confidential data gets stolen the cheats won’t be able to siphon too much money from your bank account.


    Debit card usage in India is now not limited to ATMs only and many people are shopping, making bill payments and other purchases with a debit card. So it is more important now to take measures of extra caution to save yourself from theft and the abovementioned steps will help you a lot towards that endeavour.

  2. #2

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    Indeed an informative post to be shared. Changing PIN number is quiet an useful technique used for the safety purpose.
    Nice post.

  3. #3

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    great post


  4. #4

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    Really very nice post.Got a detailed information about the debit card fraud in India.I think if we take care of all the things and the transactions then this fraud can be lower down.

  5. #5
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    These tips are very helpful to avoid the debit card frauds. Thanks

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