Security Alert – Beware of COVID-19 Phishing Attack

The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) has issued an advisory recently warning about a possible phishing attack by cyber criminals against people in India with the intent to steal personal data, including bank account information, using the email id – ncov2019@gov.in. The hackers may impersonate government agencies or departments, masquerading as official representatives and lure unsuspecting individuals to share their personal and banking information by offering free COVID-19 testing. The cyber criminals claim access to millions of email IDs of residents of Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai and Ahmedabad.

Kotak Mahindra Bank (Kotak) has informed its customers to be on high alert and to think twice before clicking on any link, downloading an attachment or entering one’s personal or financial information. Taking advantage of the interest around COVID-19, the cyber criminals hope to target unsuspecting people by offering free COVID-19 testing and gaining access to their confidential personal or banking data.

However, by being vigilant and observing some basic precautions, one can ensure a safe & secure banking experience.

Safe Banking Tips:

  • Do not share sensitive banking information such as passwords, CVV, OTP, ATM PIN, card details or any such information with anybody. Kotak will never ask for this information.
  • Only click on links from trusted sources. If you receive an email or text message from an unknown sender asking you to click on a suspicious link, beware and ignore the message altogether.
  • Develop a healthy suspicion for email IDs you have not seen before.
  • Refrain from downloading screen sharing apps such as AnyDesk, TeamViewer etc, which will enable the fraudster to take control of your device, view confidential banking details and access your account and funds without your knowledge.
  • Activate SMS and Email alerts to get instant updates on banking transactions. Read transaction-related messages and pop-ups closely.
  • Always keep your contact details updated with the bank
  • Always visit the bank’s official website – www.kotak.com – for the bank’s contact details.
  • Similarly, when searching online for contact numbers of e-commerce or any service providers, visit the official company website for contact details.
  • Safeguard devices with an extra layer of security. Keep operating systems safe by regularly scanning them for threats with antivirus or anti-spyware software.

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