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Online fraud


Such scams have increased exponentially recently, particularly during the COVID lockdowns. Common types are account takeover, advance fee, click domain name, recovery, investment, charity, government grants, health, lottery, recruitment, romance, inheritance, money mulling and mass marketing. 

Criminals use internet-based tools to identify the victims, so users should install firewalls and handle secretive information carefully.

How Does It Happen?

  • The cheats offer non-existent products online through eBay or other sites, and the seller seeks a bank transfer or payment through PayPal or digital assets or vouchers from the buyer, as these modes of payment are not protected.

  • Online transactions can lead to identity theft, where the victims' details are extracted by the app they download through a link presented to them in emails or malicious sites.

  • Email spam is a common method pretenders use to identify and target interested victims. For example, they send unsolicited emails to people and request the passwords/ PIN of the bank account or other details. 

  • Catfishing or romance scams are committed by people who meet online and attempt to win the other person's trust at places like internet chat rooms. Then, they seek favours through cash transfers, ask the victim to invest in particular sectors or offer them to join illegal activities like betting or games.

  • Some websites may interest users, but people should neglect bogus proposals and explore reliable, approved propositions. 

How To Protect Yourself?

  • Keep your computer system and device apps updated. An update can modify unwanted apps and services from disrupting normal functions. In addition, the newest fixes help remove malefic files from the device/app. 

  • Protect your account using strong passwords and watch out for phishing scams where emails (or webpages) are designed primarily to trick users into disclosing private account information. In addition, do not click on malicious links, attachments, or pop-ups from certain malefic sources. Finally, do not divulge personal details to fraudulent messages. 

  • Do not access your accounts through a public network. Always protect the interface with a password. 

  • If you are shopping, ensure the websites use secure technologies. For example, when logging out of a payment site, verify the address to check if it begins with HTTPS.

  • Always read the terms and conditions of the site carefully before buying products online.

Date Published: Sep 15, 2023

Types of fraud

A-Z of fraud

To help understand which fraud you've been affected by, we've categorised them into an alphabetical list.

What is fraud and cyber crime?

Cybercrimes can be of two types. First, it can be cyber dependent, where the fraudsters use online devices to convince the victim to accept their offers.

Advance fee fraud

If you are trying to get a loan for a house or a car, they ask to meet the provider to get the financing arrangement and pay the finder's fee in advance.

Corporate fraud

Corporate frauds can be complicated, committed either by the firm or an individual. Nevertheless, it mostly involves cheating where the employee or the firm.

Individual fraud

There are many types of individual frauds related to advance fees, investments, insurance brokers, bogus tradespeople, Ponzi schemes, pension liberation.

Online fraud

Hence the number of cases of online fraud is increasing each year, and most such cases include – account takeover, direct frauds, or scams related domain names.

Identity fraud and identity theft

The criminal uses the stolen identity of another person living or deceased to conduct unlawful activities like obtaining goods or services in another's name.

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