HDFC Issues Warning Against This App For Stealing Your Money; 9 Ways You Can Protect Yourself & Save Your Money

HDFC issues strict warning against this app
HDFC issues strict warning against this app

AnyDesk is an app that was originally developed for the purpose of remote accessing desktops and mobiles remotely, but it is being grossly misused by fraudsters to extort money from unassuming people.

RBI had also issued warnings previously to make people aware of the app and the manner in which it is being put to wrong use, and next in line is the HDFC Bank who has issued warnings to their customers to protect their hard-earned money from being siphoned off.

How is AnyDesk being used as an easy way to loot your money? Read on to know all about the warnings issued by HDFC Bank, and how to protect yourself from being scammed!

RBI and HDFC Issue Warning Against AnyDesk

In February, the cybersecurity and IT examination cell of the Reserve Bank of India had warned banks and the citizens of India against the AnyDesk App. The app is capable of enabling fraudsters of accessing your smartphone devices, reading OTPs and expunging your bank account before you could blink.

HDFC Bank has also issued safety guidelines and warned its customers of the app in a message that says:

“Beware! Fraudsters may ask you to download AnyDesk App and share a 9-digit code which gets them access to your phone to steal money. Do not share your card details / OTP / PIN with anyone and report any unusual activity immediately to the bank.”

How Money is Looted Virtually Through AnyDesk

The bank also goes on to describe the process in detail of how the fraudsters fool people into believing that they are either customer care executives of the bank or representatives from tech companies and loot them of their money.

These so-called representatives will offer you help with your smartphone issues or mobile banking. You will then be asked to download AnyDesk or any such app that will grant the fraudster easy access to your smartphone. 

The app, just like any other, will ask you for the usual permissions, and once they are granted, the fraudster is free to exploit your phone as you have permitted him to do so. They also steal your bank account credentials, PIN number and are then free to do transactions from your device.

Another method that is practiced is that these fraudsters will send a message to you and ask you to pass it on to a specific mobile number that will link their phone number to your UPI account on their own device.

This is called a UPI fraud, and there are many cases where people have fallen prey to UPI frauds. See how to save yourself from UPI frauds

How To Protect Yourself From This Fraud?

Here are some precautionary steps that you can take to protect yourself from frauds caused by apps such as AnyDesk:

  • Don’t entertain any calls that ask you to download any apps or request you to divulge any confidential data. Make sure you disconnect them swiftly.
  • If apps such as AnyDesk are there on your smartphones, and aren’t of any real use to you, get rid of them quickly.
  • Protect your mobile banking or any such payment apps with separate and strong passwords.
  • If you come across any suspicious or unusual activity to the bank branch nearest to you. You can also call customer care, but make sure the customer care number that you are calling is authentic and genuine.
  • Do not divulge your private and confidential information about bank accounts such as banking passwords to anyone. You can instead store them in your device, and use suitable apps that help record your passwords.
  • Do not under any circumstances, share your sensitive information on call, including UPI pin/MPIN, Debit/Credit Card, CVV, expiry date, OTP, ATM pin, bank account details, etc.
  • Do not pay heed to anyone, especially strangers, telling you to change any setting on your smartphone. Also, don’t install any unfamiliar app under the guidance of strangers. 
  • Remember that customer care numbers, even on Google, can be fake. Hence, do not blindly trust customer care numbers of merchants/entities/banks or even payment interfaces such as Paytm.
  • Refrain from forwarding inauthentic text messages received, even if requested by a representative of the bank or a tech company, as they can be conmen in disguise.

Update: AnyDesk has contacted us, and provided their side of the story.

Comment from Oldrich Müller, COO at AnyDesk

HDFC’s warning addresses unscrupulous scammers who pretend to be employed by banks or other institutions. They illegally use remote access software to trick users into giving them access to their accounts. We’re sorry for those who have been affected by such illegal scams. Fraudsters are always looking for new channels to target people, including using on line scams to get users to divulge personal information in order to gain access to private accounts.

AnyDesk incorporates high security software that is trustworthy, and used by millions of individuals, as well as by 17,000 companies in 165 countries. It’s is extremely protected software, and it is an excellent tool for IT experts working on remote devices without being on-site. AnyDesk uses banking-standard TLS 1.2 technology to protect users’ computers, as well as RSA 2048 asymmetric key exchange encryption to verify every connection.

AnyDesk urges users need to be very vigilant online and treat their access codes in the same way they do their personal data and possessions. This is true in all digital environments.  In order to share access codes safely, users should give extremely careful consideration to the person asking for private information.

  Fraud can only be possible if the user grants someone access to their device. We continually remind our users that they should only share access codes with people they know. If someone claiming to be from an institution contacts them, they should call the institution directly, and check whether the request is legitimate. Moreover, AnyDesk’s users have the opportunity to report any fraud-related incidents and sessions to our team, so we can permanently block scammers’ access rights to the software.

We have also developed an extra security measure for users during their first incoming session: a message is displayed explaining what users should look for to ensure a fully secure remote session, and reminding users not to share personal access codes with anyone they do not know. We are also sharing security messages through our social media channels. Scammers can be very creative, so we have taken on the responsibility of educating online users, and we communicate regularly with our audience to help them avoid fraud. 

The safe and secure use of our leading software application is a top priority for AnyDesk

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