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HDFC Bank is a leading banking and financial services company headquartered in India. It is India’s largest private sector lender by assets and largest bank by market capitalisation.

Rank 60th

in 2019 BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands.

5,314 branches 

across 2,764 cities

HDFC combats threat of fake customer care numbers using XVigil

The Problem

With more and more financial transactions being conducted online, it is no surprise that scammers are creating and distributing resources to dupe users and banks. Financial institutions and instruments are especially attractive targets for cyber attacks. HDFC being one of the largest banks in India, is no exception.

We use common search engines to look up everything, from e-commerce sites to bank logins pages. For this reason, scammers have resorted to indexing bogus web pages on search engines such as Google. Web pages that target banks usually contain fake bank branches and customer care numbers. They also create fake Twitter handles and Facebook accounts to share the fake customer care numbers. They make sure their results are at the top of search engine result pages. So when users search for the customer care number, they end up with the fake customer care number.

When customers call the fake customer care number they will be greeted by closely mimicked bank caller tunes, hold tunes, and follow standard operating procedures, that lend it an air of legitimacy. Often, the customer care representatives slip questions about CCV (Card Verification Value) or ask for OTP (One-Time Password) under the pretense of validating the caller’s identity. They even advise callers to download and install remote desktop sharing apps or open links, hence giving the scammers control of their devices.

HDFC bank engaged CloudSEK to combat this proliferating menace of fake customer care numbers.

The Solution

CloudSEK tuned XVigil to monitor social media, surface web pages, dark web, discussion forums, and messengers such as Telegram. XVigil’s crawled these sources to detect the instances of fake customer care numbers and the associated details that could help identify the scammer. XVigil’s AI powered engine processed the raw data to discard the duplicates and false positives. The threats were then analyzed, rated based on the threat levels, and taken down promptly, to ensure users are not affected.

The Impact

HDFC being a financial institution is built on the trust that businesses and consumers have in it. With XVigil, HDFC is able to detect the presence of fake customer care numbers across web sources including social media and the deep web. In such situations, time is of the essence. So, with XVigil’s AI powered engine, HDFC receives real-time alerts, giving the bank enough time to take action before the risk can manifest as an incident. 

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