Online scams are growing by the day, unfortunately. As more people are using the internet around the world, this is becoming an increasingly big problem.
Online phishing accounted for 29% of all fraud attacks for the first three months of 2019, according to cybersecurity firm RSA. India was second only to the United States in terms of host countries for these phishing attacks, too.
The report found that phishing attacks on mobile apps increased a whopping 300% from the last quarter of 2018 to the first quarter of 2019.
Scammers look to take advantage of vulnerable people who aren’t as knowledgeable about the internet or protective of their own information. They seek to gain information such as people’s full names, birth dates, bank account or financial information, as well as online usernames and passwords.
While scam attempts seem to be everywhere on the internet today, here are the 5 most common online scams in India.
1. Online Shopping
Websites can often pose as legitimate e-commerce sites and offer huge discounts on products and services that people desire. These websites can run digital advertising campaigns that offer coupon codes or special discounts if you click a specific link.
Online scammers can also target people through social media apps such as WhatsApp. They will reach out to people and offer them special discounts on products if they click a specific link.
Once you click the link, you are taken to a scam page that looks real. You’ll enter all your pertinent personal and financial information, hoping to receive products you ordered. However, the phishing site will just steal your money and your information without giving you the product you ordered.
2. Online Casinos
Online gambling is becoming increasingly popular around the world. Internet and smartphone technology is advancing at a pace that it makes it easy to play casino games for real money without having to go to a land-based casino.
This makes for a prime target for scammers. Phishers can set up fake online casinos that look just like a legitimate company. They can ask you to enter your personal and financial information, and then simply steal your money and gain access to your other accounts.
Another form of scam for online casinos is a rigged casino. Everything about the site will be legitimate, except the back-end technology will be set up so that players don’t have a great chance to actually win.
Avoiding such schemes is possible as there are sites like www.Scams.info which help players finding secure online casinos as it’s important to play at licensed and regulated by a real government agency.
3. Social Media
Scammers will target social media accounts often as well. The hackers will aim to either get access to people’s social media accounts, or they’ll clone an account in attempt to gain information from other people.
A large-scale hack of Twitter accounts happened earlier this year. The assault hacked the accounts of prominent figures in the United States as part of a Bitcoin scam.
Hackers can copy people’s photos and personal information from their social media page, and then set up a separate fake page using that information. They’ll then friend request the same people and reach out to them in attempt to gain access to personal information.
One way to prevent social media cloning from happening is by setting your accounts to private. This prevents unknown people from even viewing your personal information and photos.
With so many people in India applying for a job online every year — almost 12 million, in fact — the job market is prime for scams. The unemployment rate is high in the country, too, so these people are often desperate for a job that pays them money.
Scammers will often target people seeking jobs, offering them high pay for a job to entice them to sign on. Once the “offer” is accepted, the fake employer will ask for a person’s personal information and banking information where they’ll deposit their paycheck. Then, they’ll steal their information and money.
Do some research on companies before signing up, and don’t ever give out bank details.
Lottery fraud is one of the oldest there is. Congratulations messages can appear in ads, pop-ups and emails.
The scammers will often ask for banking information on where to deposit the money you’ve “won.” They also might ask you for a credit card or other payment method to pay a registration fee so you can qualify for the winnings.
It’s a dead giveaway if any lottery asks for personal financial information of this kind to give you money you’ve supposedly won.