The Internet has become indispensable in our daily life. Things have become so easy! Teaching, learning, money management, shopping, communication, business promotion, – all issues can be solved using the internet. We have become habituated to online shopping, online selling, online learning, and many more! But in spite of having countless benefits, its risk factors cannot be ignored especially now as different types of online frauds in India are growing day by day.
Let’s See What are The Common Online Frauds in India
Online fraud is a strategy to deceitfully steal information of a victim or a business entity through websites, e-mails, or any other internet means for fraudulent transactions, identity theft, money laundering, etc. One of the latest reports suggests that 56% of Indians generally succumb to several types of internet frauds on a regular basis. Let’s have a quick look at the various types of online fraud in India:
Fraud in online banking
Gone are the days when you had to stand in a long queue in a bank for cash transaction or withdrawal. Now everything is at your fingertips! Through net banking or online banking, you can enjoy all banking facilities 24/7 and can deliver your bills, transfer money, check account details easily and swiftly. But unfortunately, the more people are using net banking; the more online frauds in banking are growing!
But how does this happen? Generally, fraudsters create websites that are very similar to different legitimate financial organizations. When you will enter those sites you will be asked to put your personal information, pin code, etc. and the moment you will provide those, the fraudsters will use your personal details to transfer your money from your account. This is called phishing, a cybercrime that is spreading widely around India.
Credit card and debit card frauds
In this present digital world, even credit cards and debit cards are not safe! Yes, I know you find it hard to believe! But it’s true! Do you remember what happened in October 2016? SBI closed its 6 lakh debit cards when a malware-related breach was informed in a non-SBI ATM network. It affected 32 lakh debit cardholders across 19 banks! Can you imagine how grave the whole matter is?
Here the scammers steals the information of your card and then use it for various online and offline transactions. Through skimming your entire card information gets copied without your knowledge! While you withdraw cash in an ATM, a card trapper is attached to keep your card open after a normal transaction.
Nowadays the stealing or cloning of the information of your credit and debit card is one of the most increasing digital banking frauds in India.
Online shopping fraud
You enjoy shopping, right? I can understand! And especially when you don’t need to go anywhere to buy an item, you just scroll your computer or mobile screen, place the order and you will get what you need. What can be more comfortable and relaxing than this? But here also you have to be careful as online shopping frauds in India are increasing in a rapid way.
For this scammers generally give fake ads of different items with lucrative discount options. When you will click on that post they will share some fake identity proof and gain your trust. After that they will ask you to give advance payment and the courier or transportation charge. When you will make the payment, they will not answer your call or emails. They will even block you so that you cannot make any further calls or messages!
Scammers can contact you even as a buyer. At first to gain your trust they will send you some small amount of money. For further transaction they will ask your QR code. After scanning it they will withdraw the money from your account.
Identity theft is another dangerous consequence of our constant immersion in a digital world. To get your personal information the scammer doesn’t have to collect your purse or official documents. Your personally identifiable information (PII) can be acquired in many ways.
Your online browser can be taken over by a virus without your knowledge. When you will surf a legitimate website URL, you will be reoriented to a fake site. As a result the fraudsters can collect the PII information which you have already given to the website. When you are scrolling different websites, you can be tricked to download a “malware”. Afterwards that “malware” will steal all your personal information and reveal it to the cybercriminal.
After having all your personal information the criminals will use it in different matters and will withdraw money using your name and account details. They can engage themselves in different illegal activities using your personal sensitive information. Oh my goodness! This is really dangerous!
Social media fraud
Different social media like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube are burgeoning day by day. Consequently the scammers are also using these social media making countless users as their victims. Fraudsters generally create fake profiles to present themselves as legitimate persons and to trap people in their tricks. These scammers can even hack your original profile and reach people using your profile.
Frauds by providing technical support
This is another example of online fraud. Here you will receive a phone call from an unknown number; the person on the other end will tell you that your computer or any other technical devices need protection. They will present themselves as technical experts. Gradually they will convince you to share your personal details. When you will give them the necessary information they will vanish like air!
Scamming by offering a job
Are you desperately in search of a new job? Then be careful, you can be a potential victim of a scammer. For this, they will contact you and will tell you that they have seen your profile and your CV. They will also tell you that they are very interested to hire you and will offer you some lucrative options. Very easily you will fall into their trap and will do whatever they will tell you to do. But beware of this kind of scammers as they will lead you in real trouble.
Yes… don’t get surprised! This is another means of the fraudsters to trick you! In this type of fraud, you will generally get an email which will contain some amazing offers for traveling a beautiful place. For your trust, they will offer you some details of their intentions and will provide fake websites. As you love traveling, you will easily fall prey to these offers.
At first, they will tell you to send some minimal costs. When you will make the first payment, they will deduct other hidden payments without your knowledge! Hence always avoid these unknown messages or emails. For traveling always contact your trusted agents or websites.
Online dating fraud
Different online dating apps like Tinder, Gleeden, and Bumble are gaining huge popularity. Online dating has become a norm in these days. But in this quest of a romantic relationship, it is highly possible that you will get acquainted with a fraudster.
At first, the scammer will talk to you several times a day. They will carry on an empathetic behavior. After 2-3 weeks they will declare their emotional attachment and you will easily believe them. After this stage they will fabricate different stories like an accident, hospitalization to ooze money from you!
Mobile wallet or e-wallet fraud
Mobile wallet online frauds in India have become rampant in present times. Technological inventions of modern science have helped scammers and fraudsters to trick Smartphone users in different innovative ways.
In this case, generally, the fraudsters target the user ID and the one-time password. When they get this information they can easily hack your account and withdraw the entire money which your account has!
How to avoid these online Frauds
Now you already know how online frauds are outspreading like wildfire. But don’t be afraid. To keep yourself safe, maintain the following tips:
- Always look out whether your computers or mobiles are updated or not. Keep the latest security software, operating system, and web browser as these can protect your devices from malware, viruses, and other online threats. If the possible switch on the automatic updates to get the newest versions of these.
- Always avoid opening any unsolicited messages or emails. Don’t open any link provided through an e-mail or message.
- Make strong passwords that contain at least eight characters, symbols, and numbers. Try to mix the upper case and lower case. While forming a password don’t use any familiar information. And remember don’t set the same password for all your accounts.
- Try to use a secured internet connection. Set a password for your home wireless network. Always avoid using a public Wi-Fi network.
- While online shopping always visits a legitimate website. While you will be at the checkout screen, securitize whether the gateway is secure using https:// or not.
- Always update the privacy setting of your social media account.
- Don’t share your personal details with other persons. Keep your personal information safe without trusting others.
In this digital world, things are changing rapidly. You can do all your necessary works within a minute from anywhere. But sadly every good thing has its side effects. Online frauds are one burning example of that. Be careful and follow the above tips to avoid different types of online frauds in India.