Ever since the rise of the Internet we can connect to more and more people and have access to much more information than before but With the rise of the Internet, there is also a rise of scammers worldwide. Earlier the scams were limited but now scammers find it very easy to get their hand on common people’s hard-earned money.
Scams happening, divided into two types –
1. Offline Scams
2. Online Scams
Online Scams or internet scams these days are very common and most of us encounter them very frequently.
To know how you should protect yourself let’s take a look at different types of online scams-
1. Phishing Email scam-
This is a very common methods of fraudsters, where they steal your details including Bank details or UPI. Fraudsters send you emails where they possess themselves as genuine or from a reputed company. The email also has some links which redirect you to a website where they ask you for your details and other sensitive information like card details, Bank account details, UPI etc. So you must be very careful when receiving such emails and also check if the email is genuine or not.
2. Online shopping fraud-
This is one of the largest internet frauds on the internet. Scammers generally create a fake website and try to sell some very attractive and expensive products at a very cheap price. These websites also do not have any COD (Cash On Delivery) option and users must pay for the product in advance. Once we buy from these websites then the buyer either receives no product or the wrong product. They do not have any customer support team as well. So always check before if the website is genuine or well known then purchase products.
3. Identity Theft-
Under this theft fraudsters use your details to avail fake loans and credit cards in your name, once they can do so you will be responsible for the repayment of these loans. Even banks will send you a notice regarding the repayment. To protect yourself from such fraud, never share your details with anonymous people or fake websites.
4. Work from the home scam-
These are very popular scams these days where scammers assure people of a part-time job from home and ask for a deposit amount for a job kit and once the amount is deposited they will not contact you and there will be no track of such employers. One of the reasons for the popularity of these scams is the COVID-19 pandemic where a lot of people lost their jobs and were seeking some kind of employment.
5. Lottery Fraud-
This can be considered one of the oldest fraud systems which have now stepped into the online world as well. Fraudsters send you messages or call you where they will tell you have won thousands, lakhs or crores of money and to avail the amount you must transfer the amount to their account. Once you have paid they will not call you back and that money will remain in your messages. You should never entertain such calls or messages and must immediately report them.
6. Tax Scams-
These scams generally happen during the tax season where taxpayers are waiting for their tax refunds. Scammers send fake tax refund SMS or emails claiming to be from the ICT (Income Tax Department). Their purpose is to get your login details and bank details.
7. Matrimonial frauds-
People these days often go to matrimonial websites to find their partners but sometimes get trapped. Fraudsters generally dupe innocent people by creating fake profiles. Once they gain their trust then they loot their money using various methods. There are usually gangs that run these frauds.
8. Social media fraud-
The number of users on social media is increasing day by day and it also sets the platform for scammers to carry out their operations. Cyberbullying is the biggest weapon used by fraudsters on social media to loot money from others. Also, a lot of teenagers and young people get trapped in this. It is also concerning because cyberbullying has increased a lot in the last 3-4 years. Other forms used by scammers are Facebook friend fraud as well. To avoid getting cyberbullied you should not share personal details with anonymous users online.
9. Frauds on OLX-
A lot of people have lost money by buying and selling products on OLX. Scammers generally pose themselves as army personnel by fake or stolen army cards and gain people’s trust. Then they claim money from people by posting fake advertisements and never deliver those products.
10. Credit card reward Point Scam-
Credit card companies offer their users loyalty or credit points. Fraudsters call the customer claiming to be representative of the company and then create urgency among cardholders to redeem their points. They then ask for sensitive card details so that the user can claim the redeem points and withdraw money from the user account.
11. KYC Fraud-
This is also a very common fraud where a person receives a call to activate their KYC and tells you if KYC is not done it will affect your account. They then ask for the PIN, OTP and other details and withdraw money from your account.
These were 11 major online scams or fraud which people suffer from and hope next time you will be able to tackle the situation and save your hard-earned money.
Now let’s see how offline scams take place and some of its type-
1. Shoulder Surfing-
Offline scams or fraud can damage us similar to what online fraud can do. When we visit ATM for cash withdrawal or other purposes a little carelessness can cause you loss of money. Shoulder Surfing is a type of scam when someone tries to know your sensitive information by standing close to you when entering your card details. If you are not careful then it may cost you your money. So next time you visit an ATM, always check around you for such threats.
2. Dumpster Diving Attack-
When you are at work or at a public place you often write down some personal or confidential information on a piece of paper or some electronic product(mobile phones, hard disk) then later throw it away. Later when someone gets access to that confidential information it may cause a lot of money or loss of confidential data. So never throw away any sensitive or confidential information at work or in a public place.
There are other ways also where offline scams can take place like – Stolen paper mail, Acquaintances with access to information, loss or theft of wallet or purse and many more.
You must always be attentive and never share or communicate confidential information in public places.
There are various guidelines issued by the government and other organisations regarding the safety and security of our money but we ignore them which later can result in the loss of money or confidential data. Always properly follow the guidelines and be alert.