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Money frauds Online: More and More People keep falling Prey

India and its heartland are full of bizarre stories. On the one hand, it is rich in culture and on the other, it also floats with reports of frauds and scams. People were taken by storm when an OTT release, Jamtara released way back in 2020. With its second season releasing this 23rd of September, let us take a look at the money frauds that have affected the people of India.
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Frauds and scams always had a good hold in the history of India. With the advent of the world wide web, these frauds and scams took seats online. Since then online money frauds have been into existence. The buzz around them took some time to reach the ears of common people. By the time it did, a significant amount of people had already lost their money. 

One can conveniently say that the whole story of scammers and fraud came to the limelight after the release of Jamtara, a Netflix India show in 2020. People after watching the series were more aware of the scam system that runs along the tier II, and tier III cities of India. With the second season of Jamtara releasing on 23rd September, people are looking forward to what is in store.

The Worrisome Tale of Money fraud

With the growth of FinTechs, it is now much simpler for consumers to send money, invest in stocks, purchase insurance, make payments, transfer credit, and apply for loans. The availability of such cutting-edge technology to everyone strikes me as a blessing. Nobody waits for checks to clear and money to be placed into their bank accounts for four to five working days. Charges for RTGS and NEFT are no longer necessary.

Money orders are all but outdated now. Cash transactions have almost completely disappeared due to the pandemic. Online payments appear to be the way of the future, launching India into the independent digital era. With the slogan "Make India Digital," the government launched online payment gateways and promoted online transactions over cash transactions.

Online frauds have increased in frequency in India as a result of the enormous technological advancements in the nation's banking and finance sectors. Hackers and con artists are coming up with increasingly inventive ways to steal money from law-abiding folks. The number of ways con artists find to defraud people of their hard-earned money increases as India becomes more digital. These are a few examples of typical internet fraud schemes that India's Cyber Crime division has reported.

Top money fraud that Should be Watched Out

Phishing

A phishing website is a fraudulent site designed to look like a legitimate website, such as one for an e-commerce company, bank, search engine, etc. Scammers distribute links to these websites using a variety of platforms, including SMS, social media, email, and instant messaging. Many users submit security information such as a Personal Identification Number (PIN), One Time Password (OTP), Password, and other details when they click on the link without first validating the Uniform Resource Locator (URL). The information is then collected and exploited by scammers. 

Vishing

When contacting or approaching clients face-to-face, over the phone, or over social media, imposters may act as bankers, business executives, insurance agents, or government officials. In order to gain trust, imposters reveal a few consumer details, such as the customer's name or birthdate. A scammer might instill a sense of urgency or an emergency in customers, e.g., the need to stop an unauthorized transaction, the need to pay to avoid a fine, or an alluring discount, in order to coerce or trick them into divulging private information, such as passwords, one-time passwords (OTPs), PINs, and card verification values (CVVs).  A fraudster exploits these credentials to defraud a customer.

Unverified App Download

According to the RBI, con artists disseminate particular software URLs by SMS, email, social media, instant messaging, etc. These apps are disguised to look like the ones already available on legitimate app stores. Fraudsters deceive the customer into clicking on these links, which harms the customer's desktop, laptop, mobile device, etc. to download unknown or unverified apps. The con man has complete access over the customer's device once the infected app has been downloaded. In addition, private information stored on the phone, as well as messages received before and after installing the app, may be accessed.

Skimming of ATM Cards

Fraudsters, let us call them criminals who wish to steal information from customers' cards, place skimming devices in ATMs. According to a statement made by the RBI, "Fraudsters may also install a dummy keypad or a small, well-hidden pinhole camera to collect ATM PIN.? Occasionally, when a consumer enters their PIN into an ATM machine, scammers posing as nearby customers can access the PIN. In the next step, a replica card is made from this data, and money is taken from the customer's account as a result.

Lottery Fraud

One of the oldest frauds in India is lottery fraud. Here, scammers claim that you have won a jackpot worth millions of dollars by sending you emails and chats on WhatsApp. You must deposit a modest sum on a certain number in the name of tax in order to claim the lottery. The fraudster deletes his or her number and vanishes once you pay. On occasion, customers are prompted to use their credit or debit cards to pay through bogus websites. Beware! These websites can be used to steal your credit card information.

How to Stay Cautious of such Money Frauds

You can stay mindful and follow some effective steps to save yourself from these money frauds that have become popular and are on the ever rise. Some steps are listed below:

  • You need to be aware of the most recent internet scams being used by cybercriminals if you want to prevent yourself from falling victim to identity theft.
  • Locking down your gadgets is the first and most crucial step you can take to prevent identity theft. Make sure you've set up password protection on all of your gadgets.
  • Be sure to check each email you open and website you visit twice. Avoid clicking on attachments or links, particularly if they don't look correct. Resetting the passwords for any online accounts you use regularly is also a smart idea.
  • Thoroughly check while making payments via credit/debit cards and always make sure you are paying via trusted payment gateways.
  • Always add two-step verification to your credit card and banking accounts.

In the past few years, the magnitude of fraud cases have increased exponentially. Though the government has been trying to regulate these mishappenings, these fraudsters find out one way or the other to trick people. The only way to track these people down is being mindful in identifying, reporting and educating fellow citizens about the same. Afterall, our safety begins with us first. 

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