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One-time password (OTP) bot scam

One-time password (OTP) bot scam

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The One-Time Password (OTP) bot scam is a sophisticated form of fraud that leverages the security measures intended to protect your accounts. Scammers deploy bots to trick individuals into surrendering their two-factor authentication (2FA) codes, which are designed as a second layer of security beyond just a password. Here’s an expanded explanation of the scam and comprehensive safety tips:

Understanding the OTP Bot Scam:

  • Scammers make a robocall or send a text impersonating your financial institution or a reputable company, claiming there’s a charge or issue with your account.
  • They prompt you to either authorize the charge or, if you don’t recognize it, to enter the one-time password (OTP) sent to your phone or email to cancel or dispute the transaction.
  • The scammer, who is attempting to log into your account at that moment, requires the OTP you receive from your bank or credit union to bypass the security.
  • Once they have the OTP, they can access your accounts, authorize transactions, or steal your personal information.

How to Stay Safe:

  • Never Share Codes: No legitimate organization will ever ask you to share an OTP over the phone or through text. These codes are meant for your eyes only.
  • Be Skeptical of Urgent Requests: Scammers often create a false sense of urgency to panic you into giving away sensitive information. Always take a moment to assess the situation calmly.
  • Contact Your Bank or Credit Union Directly: If you receive a suspicious call or text, contact your bank or credit union directly using the number on the back of your card or their official website, not the number provided in the message.
  • Educate Yourself on Procedures: Familiarize yourself with the communication practices of your financial institutions. Most have policies against requesting sensitive information via unsolicited calls or messages.
  • Use Trusted Apps: Access your financial accounts through official apps or websites rather than links sent via messages or emails.
  • Monitor Your Accounts: Regularly check your bank and credit accounts for any unauthorized activity and report it immediately.
  • Enable Additional Security Measures: Use biometrics (fingerprint or facial recognition) where possible, and consider using an authenticator app that generates time-based codes instead of receiving codes via SMS or email.
  • Be Cautious with Caller ID: Caller IDs can be spoofed; just because it looks like a legitimate number doesn’t mean it is. Always verify independently.
  • Report Phishing Attempts: If you receive a suspicious call or message, report it to your financial institution and relevant authorities, such as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the U.S.
By adhering to these practices, you can greatly reduce your risk of falling victim to an OTP bot scam and safeguard your personal and financial information against fraudulent activities. Remember, vigilance and a cautious approach are your best defenses against such sophisticated scams.

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