Types Of Internet Fraud And How They Work

According to FBI reports, India is among the top 20 victims of cybercrime in India. As more individuals are switching to internet-based banking and online shopping, the threat of being exposed to internet frauds is increasing.

  • A total of 2,500 cases of internet frauds were registered in Noida till August 2020. 
  • Between 11th March and 18th May 2020, the cases of online fraud in India increased by 121% compared to the period between 1st January and 10th March. 

Internet frauds are responsible for substantial financial losses. Around Rs.128 crore was lost to payment card-related scams and online frauds from October to December 2019.

Thus, it’s imperative to become familiar with the most common types of internet fraud in India to stay alert against such online scams. 

Top internet frauds in India

Here is a compiled list of the most common types of internet frauds in India –

  • Phishing scams through emails

During the lockdown phase, the phishing scams in India witnessed an increase of 700%. Usually, a phishing scam is carried out when a fraudster impersonates an existing organisation or a financial firm to access reader’s data. 

The scammers send out emails containing malicious links and dubious attachments.  Such links often redirect users to spoof domains that ask individuals to share personal and card details.

Tip to avoid: For fraud prevention, individuals should refrain from clicking on unsolicited links and attachments sent via emails. If individuals find themselves receiving emails from unknown senders, they should avoid sharing any data, mainly when the attached links redirect users to spoof domains.

Since victims of phishing scams are exposed to a greater risk of identity theft, individuals may consider availing an Identity Assure insurance policy to account for resulting financial obligations.  

  • Lottery scams

Digital lottery scams have become incredibly popular in India. However, it has also exposed a greater number of individuals to online frauds

Usually, lottery scams appear in the form of sweepstake swindles, number-based lottery games, and contests. To attract the attention of individuals, scammers send congratulatory messages that create an urgent need to click. Sometimes such messages may ask receivers to pay a small sum to claim the said prize. 

For instance, the message ‘You have won an iPhone’ is probably one of the most common gateways to lottery scams doing rounds on the internet today. Other than these, pop-up banners and advertisements also draw user’s attention to such scams. 

Tip to avoid: Individuals should be cautious against advertised prizes and offers that are too good to be true. They may also consider availing a cybersecurity cover to remain financially secured against such internet scams.

  1. Coupon scams

Scammers often bank upon the retailer’s practise of giving away coupons to customers to hack their accounts. It is one of the leading types of internet frauds. Generally, scammers plagiarise the design and logo of reputed retail brands to create fake coupons.

Usually, a coupon scam is carried out by asking individuals to share coupon giveaway links on social media platforms. As a requisite to redeem the coupon, individuals will be asked to take a survey. Scammers collect data through these surveys and use it to hack one’s social media account and email ID.

Tip to avoid: Individuals should refrain from redeeming retail coupons that require them to divulge sensitive information or share links on social media platforms. 

  • Shopping scams

Cyber thieves have created millions of spoof websites to dupe careless shoppers. When individuals shop through such websites, either they receive cheap quality products or no products at all. Individuals need to be particularly careful when shopping online as it exposes them to internet banking fraud

Tip to avoid: One should always shop from reputed and secured ecommerce platforms that begin with the URL ‘https’ and display a padlock icon. Also, availing Bajaj Finserv’s Pocket Insurance & Subscriptions like the Wallet Care insurance cover can help deal with the financial liabilities resulting from such online scams. The said policy comes with a complementary fraud protection cover and is rightly a comprehensive card protection plan.  

  • Employment scams

Reports suggest that in India, approximately 12 million individuals apply for jobs each year. With the availability of multiple job search platforms online, it is becoming harder for job-seekers to distinguish between genuine companies and scammers.

In this type of online fraud, scammers pretend to be a company and approach job seekers with the promise of high salary and growth prospects. In most cases, the fraudsters ask employment seekers to pay a nominal fee to register for a job role. 

Tip to avoid: Job seekers should look up the company online before sharing bank details with it. Also, they should not pay any registration fee since no legitimate company asks for payment of these sorts. 

Other than these, credit card loan scams and online dating scams are among the most common types of internet scams. As of January 2020, there were 687.6 million internet users in India, and many of them are exposed to online scams. To avoid becoming a victim of such scams, individuals need to become aware of the different types of internet frauds and how they are carried out.  

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