Phone Compromised Or Credit Card Hacked? What Should You Do

If your phone has been hacked, you need to reach out to your mobile operator and request them to temporarily disable your SIM card. For card, inform the bank to block it
Phone Compromised Or Credit Card Hacked?
Phone Compromised Or Credit Card Hacked?

Sometimes, even the most vigilant of individuals can fall victim to a phone compromise or credit card hack. In such cases, it is natural to feel helpless. However, the important thing is to not panic, but take immediate action.

Inform The Bank

The first step is to reach out to the bank and inform them that your phone and card may have been compromised, and that you would like to hotlist your card and suspend transactions on your account temporarily.

You can do this by calling your bank or card issuer's customer care or through Internet banking.

Says Adhil Shetty, CEO, BankBazaar.com, a fintech portal: “The liability for losses rests with you if you do not report any such fraudulent transactions. The issuer bears the liability only for transactions that happen after you have requested for your card to be blocked.”

For recovery of your funds, first, review your bank statements and credit card statements for any unrecognised transactions.

Says Varun Grover, brand safety BU head, mFilterIt, a global fraud detection and prevention company: “Contact your bank and file a dispute for any fraudulent charges or transactions. Your bank will investigate the claim and may provisionally credit your account while they investigate.”

The time it takes to recover the money varies significantly depending on the complexity of the case and the bank’s policies.

Says Shikhar Aggarwal, chairman, BLS E-Services, a technology-enabled digital service provider: “Simple cases might get resolved in a few days, while more complex situations involving large sums or multiple transactions could take several months.”

As each case is unique, and banks typically investigate thoroughly before deciding, it typically extends the timeline for the recovery.

If your phone has also been compromised, you will need to file a complaint with the local cybercrime unit or the police. “This serves as an official record and may be necessary for further investigations,” says Shetty.

Monitor Your Accounts

Set up real-time transaction alerts via SMS or email to monitor your account effectively.

Says Aggarwal: “Check your account activity daily through online or mobile banking platforms. Carefully review all statements and monitor your credit report for any suspicious activity. Take advantage of any fraud monitoring tools your bank offers. Staying vigilant and proactive is key to quickly identifying any unauthorised transactions.”

How To Stay Safe

To begin with, use strong, unique passwords and enable two-factor authentication wherever possible.

Avoid using public Wi-Fi for banking, and be cautious of phishing scams. Set strong passwords and enable multi-factor authentication (MFA).

Keep your phone's operating system and apps updated with the latest security patches. Outdated software can have vulnerabilities that hackers exploit.

Says Grover: “Don't click on suspicious links or attachments in emails or text messages. This is fundamental to keep yourself protected from phishing scams. Another very critical factor is being cautious when granting permissions to apps on your phone. Only give apps access to the information they need to have.”

Further, use an antivirus to scan your device for malware or any suspicious applications that might have been installed. If necessary, take a backup of important data and perform a factory reset to wipe all data and malicious software from your device.

Use a secure device (such as a trusted computer) to change your online banking passwords and PINs.

“You may want to reset all passwords and enhance security settings for other critical accounts linked to your phone number, such as email and social media if your phone has been compromised,” says Shetty.

Your phone or credit card getting compromised can be a harrowing experience. However, timely steps can help you limit your losses and stay safe going forward.

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