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Precautions Against Various Economic Offences
   

Economic offences have been on the rise throughout the country through the 1990s and our state is no exception to this trend. Among them cheating by individuals constitute the major category. Although number of cases relating to chits has increased during years now, number of cases relating to Non-Banking Finance Companies has reduced substantially. Land scams by individuals and by cooperative housing societies have also increased substantially.

Increase in white-collar crime is a natural concomitant to development and improvement in technology, and gullibility and greed of the people to acquire more wealth in a short span of time. They easily get attracted by the offer of high returns/interest by the firms and carry short memory about the past scams by these companies.

The RBI regulates NBFCs and the companies, which float plantation schemes etc., are regulated by the SEBI. The Registrar of Cooperatives regulates cooperative housing societies and Cooperative Banks. Un-incorporated finance companies and chit fund firms are also operating and collecting deposits from the public. Deficiency in monitoring is one of the main reasons for commission of offences and then closure of firms by these companies.

1. What should the public do to save themselves from becoming victims of an Economic Offence?

As far as the NBFCs (Non Banking Finance Companies) are concerned, the public should verify the following:

  • Whether the company is registered with the RBI as a deposit taking company.
  • Whether the company has Net Owned Funds of Rs. 2 Crores.
  • Whether the company has valid Credit Rating.
  • Whether the company has filed advertisements before acceptance of public deposits.
  • Whether the interest is within the limits prescribed by the RBI from time to time.
  • Presently the limit is 12.5%. Beware of any one offering more.
  • Public should not invest with unincorporated bodies such as individuals, proprietary or partnership firms.
  • Investors should take proper receipts for their deposits.

2. Public should avoid investing in “easy money” schemes that promise fabulous returns:

  • Beware of schemes inviting investment in plantations, agro-farms, resorts etc offering high rate of return.
  • SEBI has directed the owner of such Firms to return the money to the investors.

3. HOW TO GUARD AGAINST CREDIT CARD FRAUD

  • Sign your new cards as soon as they arrive.
  • Carry your cards separately from your wallet.
  • Keep a record of your card numbers, their expiration dates, and the phone number and address of each company in a secure place.
  • Keep your card in view, whenever you can, after you give it to a clerk. Retrieve your card promptly after using it.
  • Avoid signing a blank receipt, whenever possible. Draw a line through blank spaces above the total when you sign card receipts.
  • Notify card companies in advance of a change in address
  • Never lend your card(s) to anyone.
  • Never give Internet security password to any other person.
  • Never leave your cards or receipts lying around.
  • How to protect yourself against debit card fraud

4. HOW TO DO SAFE INTERNET BANKING

Securing your account:

  • Avoid online banking on unsecured wifi systems and operate only from PCs at home.
  • Never reveal password to anyone.
  • Do not even write it on a piece of paper on diary. Just memorize it.
  • It should be alphanumeric and change it frequently.
  • Never reply to queries from bank online about account or personal details.
  • The personal information should not be kept in a public computer or in emails.

Spam:

  • Never respond to 'junk mail‘, lucrative mail or unwanted messages sent to your email account or mobile phone.
  • They will persuade you to:
    • buy a product or service, or
    • visit a website where you can make purchases; or
    • they may attempt to trick you into divulging your bank account or credit card details

Check sites URL:

  • Always check the URL (Uniform resource locator) of your bank's web site.
  • Always Type the URL name yourself and always check spellings before pressing Enter of Go.
  • Never click on the link in the email.
  • Never/Ever go to fake site.
  • Before entering your user ID or password or such sensitive information, always ascertain that you are on the right website.

Fool-proof password:

  • Change your online login and transaction password at regular intervals.
  • Always keep an alpha-numeric password, one that combines alphabets and numbers e.g. like “I*mltD1920A!”.
  • Keep Different passwords for different accounts & your gestures must not let anyone guess your password to anyone.

Always check “last logged”:

  • Always check 'last logged in' panel on their websites and guarantee yourself that it were you who logged at date & time given there.
  • Always log out when you exit the online banking portal. Close the browser to ensure that your secure session is terminated. Never exit simply by closing the browser

Keep your system up to date:

  • Always install Good Antivirus software and update it on daily basis. It must includes:
    – Antivirus and Anti-spyware protection
    – Proactive threat protection
    – Network threat protection
    – Internet Threat protection
  • Always use new version of Operating System/Install Service packs for existing OS & Always update Internet Explorer as earlier versions may contain security threats
  • Keep a personal firewall on especially if you connect to the Internet through a cable or a DSL modem

Public access can be injurious:

  • Don't leave the PC unattended after keying in information.
  • Avoid accessing your bank online at cyber cafes.
  • Also, avoid locations that offer unsecured Wi-Fi

5. HOW TO DO SAFE MOBILE BANKING

  • Don’t lend your Mobile banking Enabled Cell to any other person – Crook can enable blue-tooth, and sync your mobile with any other mobile/computer and can retreive information even when phone is locked.
  • Always Keep Password to open your mobile and don’t disclose it
  • Never store user name and passwords as contacts – as these can easily be transferred to other phone through blue-tooth, even when your phone is locked.
  • Connect to your bank through:
  • online banking software provided by bank, and
    application or "app" banking programs downloaded from secure bank sites.
  • Try to use applications provided by banks and avoid using mobile-explorer unless you are sure about its security levels.
  • Never send credit card, banking, or other sensitive information via simple text-messaging. SMS text messages are rarely encrypted and are thus open to theft as they fly through the air.

6. HOW TO PREVENT LOTTERY FRAUD

  1. Typically you will receive an e-mail claiming to be from International bank, either requesting your security details (perhaps as part of an update or confirmation process) or asking you to follow a link to a site where you will be encouraged to provide a range of information such as your credit card number, personal identification number (PIN), passwords or personal information.
  2. Don’t disclose your personal information such as name, family background, Telephone Numbers of residence and work place, address of residence.
  3. Clicking on the link then takes you to a fake website operated by the fraudster.
  4. Fraudulent e-mails and websites can be very convincing and fraudsters are continually inventing new approaches to get you to divulge your security details.
  5. Treat all unsolicited emails with caution and never click on links from such emails and enter any personal information.
  6. Take A Test Before Opening E-Mail Attachment
    • Is the email from someone that you know?
    • Have you received email from this sender before?
    • Were you expecting email with an attachment from this sender?
    • Does email from the sender with the contents as described in the Subject line and the name
    • f the attachment(s) make sense?
    • Does this email contain a virus? To determine this, you need to install and use an anti-virus program.
    • Never share your password with other people.
    • Don’t respond to inappropriate messages or emails.
  7. You can also receive a call on your mobile from unknown location with the request to deposit the amount in a designated bank in lieu of getting the cheque of winning amount of the lottery. This is a fake call, do not respond it.

7. PREVENTION OF CREDIT/DEBIT CARD FRAUD

By taking certain precautions, a user can prevent their credit or debit card from being misused both online and offline.

  1. Do not provide photocopies of both the sides of the credit card to anyone. The card verification value (CVV) which is required for online transactions is printed on the reverse of the card. Anyone can use the card for online purchases if the information is available with them.
  2. Do not click on links in email seeking details of your account; they could be phishing emails from fraudsters. Most reputed companies will ask you to visit their website directly.
  3. While using a credit card for making payments online, check if the website is secure The CVV will also be required.
  4. Do not give any information to persons seeking credit card information over phone and place of work, date of birth etc.
    5. Notify your bank/credit card issuer if you do not receive the monthly credit card statement on time. If a credit card is misplaced or lost, get it cancelled immediately.

Steps taken by the Government to check Economic Offences:

  • Improved the monitoring mechanism on the performance of the urban cooperative banks and housing societies in the cooperative / private sector.
  • Special attention is being paid by the police to complete investigation of these cases on priority basis.
  • Training is organized for the investigating officers to investigate these economic offences.
  • It has been decided to strengthen the economic offences wing at the state level to investigate complicated cases of fraud.
  • It has been proposed to create a special court to try the economic offences.
 

 

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