The digital world is efficacious, which has brought forward the true potential of the web and technology. Everything from education, shopping, transactions, and entertainment is possible online. That being said, digital has also led to a darker side of web-online frauds. So what are these online frauds? How can you be wary of these frauds?
Types of Online frauds
The number of people falling victim to online scams is rising at an alarming rate worldwide. According to New Straits Times, Malaysians have had to endure a whopping loss of RM 2.2 billion since 2017 due to cyber frauds. There are various kinds of online frauds that a person can fall for over the internet.
1. Phishing scams
Phishing attacks are very popular in the social media space. Scammers can use various messages, emails, texts, or even ads to trick you into thinking that they are a credible business or organization. They usually lure the victims via gifts, coupons, or giveaways by adding malicious links to their messages. Clicking on these links can lead to losing sensitive information to these scammers.
Nowadays, fraudsters also create fake accounts, email ids, and handles with a slight unnoticeable change in the name. Victims usually fall for these scams and end up losing money or other data over these frauds.
2. Online job scams
Work from home or job interviews conducted online can sometimes lead to scams. These attractive and dream jobs can be promoted to you via online messages, ads, or emails. In these types of scams, the employer can request some money to claim your job or get the job kit installed at your place. It is important to keep your eyes open while looking for jobs online and check for any scams or fraudulent messages circulated to you.
3. Dating site scams
Nowadays, along with products and services, romance can also be found online. These types of scammers take advantage of the victims emotionally. A dating scam works with the help of fake dating accounts, websites, and information. Fraudsters first lure the victims by building an emotional relationship with them and then cooking up fake stories. Victims fall prey to such frauds by sharing personal information or money with these scammers because of emotional connections.
4. Loan or Credit card scam
Protecting your financial data online is vital as online scammers can use different tactics to rob you of your money. One such way is proposing an attractive and easy-to-achieve loan online. You will be asked to share your personal details online under the pretext of online formalities. Such frauds can make false promises of a pre-approved loan amount that you are eligible for.
Credit card scammers are also widely popular to trick you into sharing your card details or OTP with them. These scammers can contact you while posing as a bank or government employee. They usually scare people by telling them that they might lose their account or money if they don’t disclose their personal details. As a result, victims end up sharing OTP or other details with these fraudsters.
How to protect oneself against Online frauds?
While there’s no harm in using the internet to its full potential, a person also needs to remain cautious while dealing with sensitive information online.
Here are some tips to safeguard yourself to some extent against online scams and frauds.
- Check that the websites that you are visiting are secure and start with HTTPS. Many websites that begin with HTTP can be unsafe sites. Another thing to look for is a padlock before the URL of a website that tells you that a website is more secure and safe.
- Do not share your sensitive information over text messages, calls, or emails unless you have checked the credibility of the receiver.
- Always go for a background check of the employer and the company that you are applying to. Read reviews, visit their website and social media handles and ensure the credibility of the job offer properly.
- Use antivirus software for your devices and keep your system updated with the latest updates available. It is a good idea to switch on the auto-update mode of your electronic devices.
- Do not click on any links sent to you if you are unsure about the authenticity of a message, ad, or email.
- Use two-factor authorization for accounts and keep your passwords private.
- Avoid dealing with personal or sensitive data while using public wifis or networks.
- If you fall prey to any online scam, file an official complaint with the authorities.