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The 5 things that you can do to recover money

stolen from your bank account

  •   The 5 things that you can do to recover money stolen from your bank account are based on an incident experienced by my                    mother. An amount of 50,000 was stolen from her bank account. The rest of the post narrates the incident.

  • My mother (a homemaker) received a call on 14th February 2017 from a person pretending to be a manager of the bank (bank’s name not revealed for privacy reasons) she has her account in. The caller tricked her into revealing her ATM card details such as the card number, expiry date, and CVV number (3 digits printed on the back side of the card). Then the caller asked my mother to reveal a set of OTPs (one time password) sent to her registered mobile phone (clearly, the criminal had initiated online transactions using the card’s details for which he needed the OTP). A few minutes later, an amount of almost Rs. 50,000/- was debited from her account. By the time she informed me about the incident, it was too late.

  • This particular incident is known as a phishing attack – where the attacker tricks the victim into revealing their confidential information.

  • What I did immediately

  • 1. Reported the incident to the bank. The account was frozen and the ATM card was blocked.

  • 2. Noted down the details of all the transactions that took place at the time (there were 4). These include the date, time, amount, merchant’s name, and others.

  • 3. Lodged an FIR in the local police station; shared the details of the transactions.

  • 4. Contacted every merchant whose name was included in the transactions. I reached out to them via their Twitter accounts, emails, and customer care number. Informed them that the debit card used in the transaction was used fraudulently, without my mother’s authorization. They asked for certain details to verify my claim. These included the debit card number (first four and last four digits), date and time of the transaction.

  • 5. Reported the case to Cyber Crime Cell Mumbai division (mumbai@mahapolice.gov.in). They replied saying that they do not take direct complaints and suggested me to lodge an FIR with my local police (which I already did) who will then forward the case to the Cyber Crime Cell.

  • What happened soon after

  • Three merchants were involved in the transactions. By ‘involved’ I mean that the criminal used their services (e-wallet) to steal the money from my mother’s bank account.

  • One of these merchants turned out to be immensely helpful. After having verified my claim, they were kind enough to revert the transaction that the criminal made using their e-wallet. The amount was about Rs. 20,000. So, what might have happened in this case is, the money did not get transferred elsewhere or used in any way before I reported the case.

  • I was, however, not so lucky in recovering the rest of the money (Rs. 30,000). Reason – the services were already delivered. Meaning, in one case, the money got transferred to a certain bank account and in another case, the money was used to purchase movie tickets. These two merchants, however, helped me with some in-depth information of the transactions such as the IP address of the computer used during the transactions, the bank account where the money was transferred to, date, time, etc. I shared these details with the police and the Cyber Crime Cell, just in case.

  • Can the bank help you recover the loss? The bitter truth – No

  • Banks have always been clear about their warnings to customers about not disclosing any personal or banking information over call, SMS, or email no matter what. Hence, in this particular case, the bank holds my the account holder accountable for whatever happened. In short, it would be unwise to expect that the bank will somehow recover the loss.

  • How to protect yourself from such scams

  • Criminals are making money because they are smart. They know how to lure their victims into their trap. So, it is up to us how we prevent ourselves from getting trapped.

  • Educate everyone in your family and friend circle about phishing attacks and other such online scams. Most of time, we assume that these incidences cannot happen with us but you never know.

  • Never give out any personal information (including financial) to anyone over a call, SMS, or email. The caller may sound genuine, polite, professional or harmless but that is how scammers are trained – to trick their victims. Remember, banks never call or write to their customers asking for their banking details.

  • If you receive a call from your bank (or anyone pretending to be from a reputed company) asking for your personal or bank details, disconnect the call. Report the number to your bank. If you are using Truecaller app on your phone, tag the number as ‘Fraud’ so that it gets updated in app’s database and other Truecaller users know about it.

  • If you can identity the number’s operator (Vodafone, Airtel, Idea, etc.), write to them or Tweet them informing about the call. If they are diligent enough, they might blacklist the number from their database.

  • As of today, I am still following up with those to whom I had written seeking help in bringing the criminal to justice. And I will keep doing so. I’ll update this post if I come across something positive. For now, I hope this post helps our readers educate their family and friends about such threats and how to avoid them. Stay safe!

  • Also read: How to recover your money if your bank account is hacked or your card details are stole                                                                                        By Quick Heal pvt .ltd.


In the wake of the demonetisation campaign, people are opting for cashless transactions for online banking, shopping, paying bills, booking tickets, etc. But, while this mode of payment may have brought some relief to the cash crunch in ATMs and banks, it has opened up new opportunities for cybercriminals. And you may ask why?

What are the potential risks of cashless, online transactions?

  • Attackers will release fake online payment apps in the market that can steal your personal and banking details like net banking login ID and passwords, credit/debit card numbers, etc.

  • Fake websites will be created. These will look exactly like your banking or shopping websites where any information you provide, will reach the attacker.

  • You may receive emails with links that claim to offer discounts if you purchase goods from certain websites. These emails could be fake and may redirect you to fraudulent or infected websites.

  • You may also receive SMSs or WhatsApp messages recommending you to download mobile apps for online payments. These could also be fake.

  • Free, insecure Wi-Fi networks may be created by attackers to trick unsuspecting users.

Tips for secure cashless transactions

1. Download online payment apps only from official stores such as Google Play and Apple Store.

2. Before you download any app, verify the publisher. The ‘Top Developer’ badge (in Google Play) is usually a good sign that the app is safe. Also, read its user reviews.

3. More importantly, read the permissions that an app asks for. If you think, it is asking for more than what is required, then better avoid installing it.

4. Never visit an online banking or shopping website by clicking a link received in an email or text message.

5. Choose established and well-known websites to make your payments.

6. Ensure there is two-factor authentication for your net banking or debit/card transactions. This means whenever you make a payment, you will be asked to authenticate yourself twice. For instance, while paying via net banking, you will enter you login ID and password and also an OTP (code sent to your registered mobile number) before you can make the final payment. So, even if an attacker manages to steal your net banking details, they won’t be able to go through with a fraudulent payment.

7. Always choose a strong password for accounts on net banking or online payment apps. Ensure your password is at least 8 characters long, has uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. E.g., ‘Cool15is@King’

8. Avoid making cashless transactions from public computers such as those in cyber cafes.

9. Do not use free, insecure Wi-Fi networks for making online payments. Doing so may let an attacker steal your information.

10. Install a multilayered antivirus solution with the below features:

  • Blocking websites that are fake, fraudulent or infected.

  • Blocking emails that carry malicious links or attachments

  • A secure browser for safe banking and shopping transactions.

11. Install a mobile security app that:

  • Blocks fake or malicious apps from getting installed on your phone.

  • Blocks access to fake and infected websites.

  • Lets you lock your apps (online payment apps such as PayTm) with a password to prevent any misuse.

  •         -By Quick Heal pvt.ltd



  • NOVEMBER,2016



Stephen Hawking says his group has solved a black hole puzzle

Black holes eventually disappear, but info about what had been inside them remains in a surrounding rim of light, he says.....

Stephen Hawking, the world’s most famous living physicist, thinks he has solved a mystery. It’s one that has puzzled scientists for more than 40 years: What happens to information about matter as it falls into a black hole?

Black holes are regions in space that contain huge amounts of matter. All that mass is packed together very tightly. The result is that a black hole’s gravity is so strong that not even light can escape. So if you fell into a black hole, you’d die. (Don’t worry, though. A person would never actually come anywhere near a black hole!)

But black holes don’t last forever. In the 1970s, Hawking showed that the energy in black holes slowly leaks away into space. It “evaporates” until nothing is left. It does this through a process now known as Hawking radiation.

The same thing should be true of the information about matter inside a black hole, such as its shape or its electrical charge. If the matter inside a black hole disappeared, so should any record of what had been inside it.

But that would defy a basic law of how the universe works. That law says that information is never lost. So the idea that information in a black hole could simply evaporate posed a major problem. Physicists called it the information paradox. (A paradox is an idea or a statement that is true, but seems logically impossible.)

Now, Hawking claims that he and two colleagues have solved that information paradox.

This trio proposes that the information about matter that falls into a black hole is actually stored in a boundary area that surrounds the black hole. This boundary is called an event horizon. A layer of light called a hologram slides along the event horizon. It’s stuck there, as if it were rowing upstream and getting nowhere, says physicist Andrew Strominger. He works at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., and is one of Hawking’s collaborators.

The researchers say the hologram acts like a very observant border guard. It stores a detailed record of every bit of matter that drifts into the black hole.

Here’s how the team thinks the process works: Every proton, atom or other bit of matter that gets pulled into the black hole causes some of the light in the hologram to shift along the event horizon. And each such disturbance is unique. Such shifts are called supertranslations. Each creates a unique record for each particle that enters the black hole. When Hawking radiation leaks out beyond the event horizon, it also carries the hologram’s information away too, bit by bit.

Strominger says the challenge is proving that supertranslations can really store the huge amount of information about a black hole’s entire contents. “This might not be the only kind of storage device that the hologram uses,” notes. But the idea of supertranslations preserving the information in black holes is an important step forward, he says.

Other physicists have proposed a similar idea. But Hawking and his colleagues say their proposal describes the specific process that allows each black hole in the universe to record and hold information about what is inside it. “This resolves the information paradox,” Hawking said on August 25. He presented the idea at the Hawking Radiation conference. It was held at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden.

Strominger is more cautious. He notes that their research on this is not yet complete.

Other physicists say the idea sounds interesting. Still, they find it is only as convincing as the mathematical “evidence” to support it. And that is what’s not yet complete. But Strominger is confident has his team’s research will completely change how physicists think about black holes. Researchers hope that resolving the information paradox will help them understand how gravity works at the scale of tiny particles, such as atoms, and the even smaller scale of particles that make up those atoms. At this scale, the behavior of matter is ruled by a special set of laws known as quantum mechanics.

Several physicists say it’s hard to make judgments about the new announcement without reviewing a scientific paper. “Stephen whet our appetite but didn’t really flesh out the ideas,” says Michael Duff, who attended Hawking’s talk. Duff works for Imperial College London. As a theoretical physicist, he specializes in using mathematical models to understand the nature of matter and energy. The suspense will continue until at least the end of this month. That’s when Hawking says his team plans to post a paper online.

Ummm, maybe not. Strominger says to expect a longer wait.

Power Words

(for more about Power Words, click here)

black hole  A region of space having a gravitational field so intense that no matter nor radiation (including light) can escape.

event horizon An imaginary sphere that surrounds a black hole. The more massive the black hole, the bigger the sphere. Anything that happens inside the event horizon is invisible, because gravity is so strong that under normal circumstances even light can’t escape. But according to some theories of physics, in certain situations small amounts of radiation can escape.

gravity The force that attracts anything with mass, or bulk, toward any other thing with mass. The more mass that something has, the greater its gravity.

Hawking radiation The particles emitted from the event horizon on the outer edges of a black hole. Energy can be converted into a pair of particles. If that happens very close to outer edge of a black hole, one of those particles can tunnel out and become detected — providing the only direct physical clue to the black hole’s presence. These emissions are called Hawking radiation for Stephen Hawking, the famous British physicist who came up with the idea that black holes can emit particles.

hologram  An image made of light and projected onto a surface, depicting the contents of a space.

information paradox  (in physics) A problem created by two conflicting ideas about how black holes work and how the universe works. Black holes eventually disappear, and presumably, the information they contain about what’s in them also disappears. But  this disappearance breaks a law of quantum mechanics, which says that information is never “lost” to the universe.

matter Something which occupies space and has mass. Anything with matter will weigh something on Earth.

mass A number that shows how much an object resists speeding up and slowing down — basically a measure of how much matter that object is made from. For objects on Earth, we know the mass as “weight.”

model  A simulation of a real-world event (usually using a computer) that has been developed to predict one or more likely outcomes.

paradox  An idea or a statement that is true, but that seems logically impossible.

physics  The scientific study of the nature and properties of matter and energy. Classical physics is an explanation of the nature and properties of matter and energy that relies on descriptions such as Newton’s laws of motion. It’s an alternative to quantum physics in explaining the motions and behavior of matter. A scientist who works in that field is known as a physicist.

proton A subatomic particle that is one of the basic building blocks of the atoms that make up matter. Protons belong to the family of particles known as hadrons.

quantum mechanics  A branch of physics dealing with the behavior of matter on the scale of atoms or subatomic particles.

supertranslation  (in physics) A rearrangement of light in a black hole’s event horizon (the boundary surrounding the black hole) that, according to some physicists, occurs when a particle of matter enters a black hole.

theoretical physics  A branch of physics that uses mathematical models to understand the nature and properties of matter and energy. A scientist who works in that field is known as a theoretical physicist.

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