As per the report by the Data Security Council of India, internet users are expected to grow exponentially in the coming years.
- The Indian e-commerce market is anticipated to touch $200 billion by 2026.
- Similarly, the interest user base is also forecasted swell to 835 million by 2030.
This booming growth of internet users results from cheap data availability and rampant adaptation of digital transaction modes. Simultaneously, the threat of cybercrime is also going haywire.
- As per the same report, the cybercrime in India increased by almost 86% between March and April 2020.
While, the personal data breach is one of the most rampant cybercrime, millions of users are falling prey to malware that eventually results in identity theft or/and financial loss.
Hence, it is high time internet users know about all the possible types of internet fraud that are recurrent on the internet. It would further help them to find out ways to avoid such scams online.
Most common types of online fraud in India
Some of the common types of internet frauds are listed below –
- Phishing scams
It is one of the most common means that fraudsters adopt to conduct online frauds. Typically, it involves emails or text messages that are generally sent to a group of individuals belonging from the same workplace with a similar designation.
The cybercriminals design the email or message in a way that seems to be coming from any credible source, for instance, financial institutions. When the target opens the mail and opens the link provided, he/she will land on a webpage that seems real. Now, if the target enters login credentials, the criminals steal the user ID and password and use them later to steal more data or money from the account.
- According to a Mumbai-based Cybersecurity company, India witnessed a 4000% rise in phishing attacks in 2020.
Thus, individuals need to stay cautious to avoid such frauds. They may also consider opting Wallet Care card protection plan policy from Bajaj Finserv under its Pocket Insurance & Subscriptions. It comes with a complementary fraud protection cover that helps policyholders raise a claim if they are subject to this internet fraud.
- The Nigerian Prince
Although it is one of the oldest types of internet frauds, it is still relevant. Popularly known as Nigerian 419 scam, it derives its name from Nigerian Criminal Code 419 that bans this particular practice.
Here, the criminals pretend to belong from a wealthy family or claims to be a foreign national. They seek financial help of the victim to retrieve substantial inheritance. In return, they promise a considerable amount.
They persuade the target to pay a small amount of money to initiate the process and then procure more money gradually. They also send papers that convince the target of their authenticity. In the end, the victim loses a lot of money and gets nothing in return.
- Loan or credit card scams
You can get a message or call stating that you are eligible for a high amount of pre-approved loan. Moreover, they use the name of a reliable lending institution to avoid any suspicion of the receiver on the other end. However, if you get such a message, think how a financial institution can approve such a high-amount loan without checking the credit profile.
The same offer can also accompany claims of free credit card issuance. If you give out your account details mistakenly, they can clone a credit card issued in your name and then make authorised transactions.
To keep yourself financially protected against such scams, you can avail cyber security cover that accounts for financial loss arising from such fraudulent activities.
- Lottery fee scam
Among several types of internet frauds, in this case, criminals send a congratulatory message stating that you have won a huge amount in a lottery. However, to get the amount, you are asked to pay a small fee.
Once you fall into their trap, they will persuade you to share your card details to make the payment. Alternatively, they may also tell you to pay the money through a screen sharing application provided by them. When you enter the payment card details, they will retrieve the information to sell them on dark web leading to identity theft or financial loss. They are most likely to use it to make unauthorised transactions.
Thus, you can purchase an identity assure insurance plan that covers the cost of legal proceeding that is necessary to resolve this issue.
- E-commerce sites
As more individuals are inclining towards online shopping, it is becoming easier for scammers to hack the information shared by consumers on different e-commerce sites.
Some websites suggest their customers save the card details for future payment. However, fraudsters can hack the site and steal sensitive information without anyone’s knowledge.
- In January 2020, more than 3 Indian firms were hacked and the data of more than 10 million users exposed.
Therefore, individuals also need to know about some effective fraud prevention measures to address this issue.
Tips for online fraud protection in India
Besides availing an insurance plan, individuals can also do the following –
- Invest in an effective antivirus program.
- Shop from reliable and secured shopping websites.
- Change passwords periodically.
- Avoid downloading documents from suspicious websites.
- Enable pop-up blocking.
- Limit sharing information online.
Thus, besides knowing about various types of internet fraud, individuals also need to diligently follow the tips mentioned above to keep themselves safe online.