Online financial frauds that you must be aware of

Dr. Deepti Dwivedi

The lack of awareness about keeping your financial information safe has created an unfortunate vulnerability for many people. For example, the fact that a UPI handle is enough to receive money is disturbing when you consider what this means in practice. In addition, imposters are getting more innovative and more creative in the way they con people. For example, there has been an increase in the number of phone scams in recent years. They use fake helpline numbers given online to make their targets feel confident about who is on the other end of a call; these swindlers will convince unknowing victims with their oratory skills, making it easier for them to conduct fraudulent schemes over telephone lines.

SIGNS OF ONLINE FRAUD

Here are some signs in the case of online fraud to keep you vigilant:

  • Often, offers and prices are too good to believe, and immediate payments must be made so you aren’t missing out. However, in most cases, this does not apply.
  • They are insisting on payments via electronic fund transfer or wire service.
  • Look out for platforms having questionable authenticity. Especially platforms that have limited information regarding delivery and other policies. Website designs of poor quality, sloppy English, URLs containing extraneous words or characters, and little social media presence call for vigilance.
  • Experts say scammers typically lead you to believe they are legitimate by not mentioning the terms and conditions, dispute resolution, privacy policy, delivery details, and essential contact details.

TYPES OF ONLINE FRAUD

  • Tricksters are using the requested feature on UPI to scam people with fake payment requests. When they get someone’s PIN, it becomes easier for them to steal money from their account and take off without being noticed.
  • People often fall for free gifts and pre-approved loans, allowing scammers to collect their information from forms that have been filled. The tricksters call afterward, informing people that they have won a prize in exchange for paying the small fee.
  • Fraudsters have been known to pose as insurance company representatives via call or mail to take advantage of unsuspecting customers by tricking them into paying a fee for their policies due for maturity.
  • When people lookout for a job, they can get duped by an internet scam where the enticing offers turn out to be fake. You will notice that you have to pay some fees before being allowed to apply for these jobs, which is just another way of making money off their victims – with no intention of hiring them at all!
  • Fraudsters are clever and resourceful. Social engineering is used to trick you into installing screen-sharing apps on your computer. This grants them access to all of your financial information because they know these programs aren’t malware but still allow outside sources to control the software remotely.
  • Scammers make bank calls, asking for a PIN and threatening to close the account or deactivate it if you don’t comply.
  • Fraudsters can track complaints from users’ social media profiles and pretend they’re bank representatives by creating fake contacts. They’ll then ask for your banking credentials contrary to an actual scenario, so make sure you know who’s asking before giving them any information!
  • Fraudsters prey on vulnerable victims, especially senior citizens. They call and offer them a chance to invest in an insurance product that will give the victim’s lifetime of earnings some protection.

HOW TO AVOID FALLING INTO THE TRAP OF FINANCIAL FRAUDS

  • It’s always a good idea to be wary of deals that sound too good to be true, even if they’re referred to by people you know. Fraudulent e-commerce websites are also not worth dealing with; steer clear from them and stick only with sites you’ve heard about before or ones that have been consistently reliable in the past!
  • Copycat websites are designed to be indistinguishable from their genuine counterparts. They will often display poor language and grammar, revealing the site as a fake website rather than an authentic one. Watch for these warning signs when browsing online!
  • Reading the review section of the shopping website/portal could determine the authenticity of the site or product.
  • Beware of clicking on links and opening email attachments that you receive. Always make sure to verify the legitimacy of a website before entering any personal information or downloading anything from their site, whether it is in an email message or text message.
  • Pay attention to the ‘s’ at the end of HTTPS:// in a URL. It stands for secure, which indicates that your information will be safe and encrypted.
  • When using net banking for online transactions, one is required to enter their customer ID and password. Avoid setting passwords that can be easily accessed. Therefore, changing your password every six months is advisable. For maximum security, ensure that your password is a combination of upper, lower case letters, numbers, characters. .
  • Be mindful and never share credit or debit card numbers and details with anyone. It is essential that these details are not shared because they allow people who know your name but don’t have more information about you to do things like conduct online transactions on your behalf without leaving a trace of their identity.

In today’s day and age, online transactions are widely used. Even though online financial transactions have eased us out, it has also paved the way for online financial fraud. One must be highly cautious of the threats that online transactions pose. Therefore, we must be observant of the general signs of online fraud. We also need to take note and be aware of the nature of financial fraud. The best way to avoid falling prey to online scammers is by taking necessary precautionary measures. We can use the above as a basic guideline to stay safe online and out of trouble!