The rise in frauds including online frauds, is significant enough, to alert all consumers of the possibility, that they can also sometimes, get sucked by a fraudster. It is estimated that in USA, around 15 million Americans became victim of frauds, to the tune of an astounding sum of $50 billion annually. The figure for the whole world, can be only imagined.
A very profitable industry is at work and the investments are very minimal but their gains are maximal. The ROI of the fraud industry is surely extremely high.
One of the most popular online frauds is the advanced fee fraud.An email, is sent to the intended victim, informing of a windfall, in form of a lottery or a legacy or a draw, wherein the person has won a huge sum of money to the tune of lakhs of dollars. In order to facilitate its payment, the intended victim is asked for a small sum of money as processing fee and is also asked to send his personal and bank details. It is estimated that in 2011, such scam cost nearly $485 million as reported by the Internet Crime Complaint Centre. Needless to say that no funds are received by the victims and the money they paid to the fraudster is also not possible to recove,r as these are generally overseas based .
Another increasing fraud involves the Debit Card. When a debit card is given for swiping , say in a restaurant, its details may be sold by a hands in glove employee. After a few hours your bank may inform you, of a debit of a large amount, towards a purchase. Or you may come to know only when you check or get a statement much later on.
When a natural disaster strikes, fake charities will copy the web page of the real charities and appeal you for donations,
Another recent way, of extracting money fraudently. is by giving a missed call on your mobile. When you reply, a recorded voice will talk about sex and keep you engaged till you realize it is a fraud call. When you disconnect the call, you will be shocked to know that you have been billed at the rate of Rs 60 per minute. These revenues are shared between the telecom company and the fraudster, usually based abroad.
One must therefore be very careful. Never give personal and bank details on the net to anyone even if you know the person. Also, do not respond to emails from unknown addresses as this may trigger invasion of your files by programmed bugging viruses, which will keep transmitting your details to the sender.
How to protect against these online frauds? It is simple. One has to be careful and alert.
It is important to install a reputed anti virus and anti malware software program in your computer for protection. Avoid using free anti virus softwares, as these do not offer a good level of protection. Do not allow your debit card to go out of your sight and check your account almost daily. If interested in donating, first get in touch with the charity organization on phone and check with them how to donate. Never reply to a miss call number, on the mobile, if it is unknown and is from a foreign country. If someone genuine wants to get in touch with you he will call again.
It has been rightly said that an educated consumer is the fraudster’s worst enemy