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How to protect yourself from rising online frauds: Tips and tricks

Online frauds are constantly evolving, and scammers are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their tactics. To safeguard yourself against these threats, it's essential to stay informed about the latest scams and learn how to protect your personal information and finances.

Written By: Saumya Nigam @snigam04 New Delhi Published on: October 09, 2023 18:00 IST
Phishing
Image Source : FILE Phishing

In today's digital era, online transactions and financial operations have become the norm. Conducting business, making payments, and managing investments can all be accomplished with a few clicks, from anywhere, and at any time. However, the ease of online transactions also exposes individuals to potential risks, as a single wrong click or uninformed decision can lead to financial loss.

Online frauds are constantly evolving, and scammers are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their tactics. To safeguard yourself against these threats, it's essential to stay informed about the latest scams and learn how to protect your personal information and finances. In this article, we'll explore various types of online fraud and provide you with practical tips on how to defend against them.

Opportunistic scammers are always on the lookout to exploit any vulnerability. To protect yourself and your finances while conducting online transactions, here are seven types of fraud and essential tips to stay protected:

Phishing attacks

One has to be cautious of any emails which mimic banks or reputable companies.

  • How to be safe from phishing? 

Never share sensitive information like bank details, your mother's maiden name, or your date of birth on any website, even if it looks like a legitimate bank site. Always log into your Net banking account through the official bank's URL only.

Vishing Scams (Phone-based frauds)

Scammers impersonate bank officials or service providers over the phone call. They have some of your details to win the confidence that they are from a real bank and might ask for the details.

  • How to be protected from phone-based banking fraud?

Majorly people who are elderly are the ones who face consequences and get trapped in this kind of banking scam. All they have to do is not entertain this kind of calls from strangers, especially those claiming to renew insurance policies or offering deals that sound too good to be true. Never share banking details over the phone with anyone, nor the OTP of any kind.

Smishing Frauds (Text message scams)

One of the most common smishing scams is the fake electricity bill alerts which one gets on the phone. People tend to click on the link shared with the message, with the hope of paying the bill, but end up losing all the money from their bank account.

  • How to save yourself from a text message scam?

Be very alert from this kind of text message you receive and never trust any SMS claiming that you have won any kind of lotteries or urging you to dial a provided number. 

Do not call the numbers shared in unsolicited text messages every, or it can track your bank details easily.

Social media frauds

Fraudsters will create fake profiles to gain trust and deceive victims.

  • How to save yourself from social media fraud?

You must avoid sharing personal photos, intimate video calls, or banking details with virtual acquaintances. Also, do not send money to someone you meet online.

India Tv - Online shopping

Image Source : FREEPIKOnline shopping

Sextortion (sexual content on video call)

One of those crimes which recently got highlighted because of its nature and distress. Recently, scammers initiated video chats, recorded the call receiver for a few seconds where his/her face could be visible and later used the videos to blackmail the receiver.

  • How to save someone from sextortion?

Avoid accepting video calls from unknown numbers. Cover your device's camera when someone is giving you a call from an unknown number while chatting online, even with friends. You never know how these hackers and scammers are using your front camera to record you at any point in time.

Online trading frauds

Fraudsters may trick you when you are doing online shopping- while buying or selling items online.

  • How to save yourself from an online shopping scam?

One has to always verify physical objects before exchanging money. Be cautious of QR code payments; scammers can gain access to your device.

India Tv - scam

Image Source : FREEPIKOnline scam

SIM swapping scams

Attackers may clone the SIM card and block the original to facilitate fraudulent transactions.

  • How to save someone from fraudulent transactions?

Never submit photocopies of your identification documents without proper authentication. If your SIM is blocked unexpectedly, contact your telecom service provider immediately.

TIPS TO STAY INFORMED AND PROTECTED

The above seven scams have been in the news recently. Now we would like to highlight the ways to keep yourself safe from these scams and be ready. Here are 10 ways to save you from any scam:

  1. Stay informed: Keep yourself updated on the latest online scams and frauds.
  2. Use secure websites: Ensure the websites you transact on have "https://" in the URL, indicating a secure connection.
  3. Beware of phishing emails: Be cautious when opening emails from unknown sources and never click on suspicious links or download attachments.
  4. Two-factor authentication (2FA): Enable 2FA wherever possible to add an extra layer of security to your accounts.
  5. Strong passwords: Create strong, unique passwords for each online account and consider using a reliable password manager.
  6. Verify contacts: Confirm the authenticity of emails, messages, or calls from institutions before sharing any personal or financial information.
  7. Avoid public Wi-Fi for transactions: Refrain from making online transactions using public Wi-Fi networks, as they may not be secure.
  8. Regularly monitor your accounts: Frequently review your bank and credit card statements for any unauthorized transactions.
  9. Educate yourself about investment risks: Before investing online, thoroughly research and understand the risks associated with different investment opportunities.
  10. Trust your instincts: If something feels off or too good to be true, it probably is. Trust your instincts and exercise caution.

In the end

Online frauds are a real threat in today's digital world, but with vigilance and awareness, you can protect yourself from falling victim to these scams. Stay informed, follow best practices, and exercise caution when sharing personal information or engaging in online transactions.

ALSO READ: Microsoft unveils revamped Web App Store for Windows users

 

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