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different types of frauds in nri bank accounts

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Managing one’s finances has become quite convenient with the advent of online banking, but you should not ignore safety loop holes related to online banking. Even though online banking is very safe, you are vulnerable to online frauds like Phishing,


and Nigerian 419 scams. NRI accounts are more vulnerable as a lot of money is involved and distance factor enhances the risk. In this article, we will discuss common techniques employed by fraudsters and how to protect your NRI account(s) from such frauds.



Common Online Frauds

Phishing, Vishing and Nigerian 419 Scams

Phishing is a deceptive attempt to acquire sensitive information such as online banking account user names and passwords through electronic communication. Perpetrator of the fraud pretends as a trustworthy source in emails or instant messaging and tries to steal data by directing users to enter sensitive details in a fake website or link. Fake websites look similar to original ones and common users cannot detect the difference. In case of Vishing attacks, phone calls are used instead of emails to achieve same objective.


There is another category of fraud which is perpetrated through emails known as Nigerian 419 Scams. In this case, fraudsters try to lure you by extending unbelievable offers. Offers can be in the form of incredible job offers, lottery wins, world cup ticket wins, income tax refund etc. These offers have few things in common, like:



Offers are too good to be true.


You have never applied for such offers.


Perpetrators will ask you to transfer money to some account before settling the claim.


Tips for Protection against Online Fraud

As an NRI, you reside in another country and have account in India. Let’s say you receive an email or phone call from someone pretending to represent your bank. It’s difficult for you to check its authenticity because of distance factor and your busy schedule. Fraudsters take advantage of this fact and try to dupe you using above techniques.


Now, as you are aware of your enemy and the modus operandi, it’s time to devise strategies to protect your account. I have listed below some steps, which should be used as rule of thumb and should never be compromised with.


Type of Fraud

Protection Measures


1. Confirm the legitimacy of emails – Whenever you receive an email asking for personal information, get suspicious. Do not reply, do not open attachment, and do not click on any link in email unless you have verified the source of email. Contact the customer service of body which the mail pretends to be from for verification. Remember, banks and legitimate bodies will never ask for your personal information like user id and password.

2. Use good antivirus and spywares in your system as they will act as second line of defence just in case you have opened the attachment or clicked on fraudulent link.

3. Add your bank website in favourites list and access it from there. You can also type it manually every time, but this method is vulnerable to typo mistakes


1. Simply hang up the phone call which asks for personal data

2. Do not respond to automated phone calls. Only respond if you have made the call yourself.

3. Refrain from calling on customer care numbers mentioned in emails. Use the actual websites to fetch customer care number.

Nigerian 419 Scams

1. Do not respond to offers that sound too good to be true. They will always be false and you will be duped 100% of the time if you believe them.

2. When you receive an email with some incredible offer, just try to recall, have you ever opted for them. There are no free lunches my dear friend.

3. Never ever transfer money (asked as claim settlement fee) to anonymous bank accounts. You will never get it back.


This is not all

Fraudster’s keep on devising new techniques to drag more people into their net. You need to keep yourself updated as you might fall prey to new techniques. You are advised to beware of people who have physical access to your computer as they can steal your password very easily. Online banking transactions should not be done from public places like cyber cafe, airports, etc. Following steps discussed above will surely save you a lot of money in the future.



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