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Individual fraud

Individual fraud

There are many types of individual frauds related to advance fees, investments, insurance brokers, bogus tradespeople, Ponzi schemes, pension liberation, land banking, premium rate phone, advance/loan, romance, lottery, real estate, pyramid schemes, or shopping scams that happen when a person is targeted individually by the scammers who aims to gain through the victim's vulnerabilities, such as gaining money by acquiring information about their bank details or secretive information through emails or phone or in-person meeting. 

One can commit crimes through emails, calls or on the street or at your doorstep, and many are vulnerable to it. 

In some cases, the individual knowingly gives another person's identity or personal information to commit fraud. In such a case, the defrauded institution may find it difficult to detect the scam, as the individual refuses to acknowledge they were involved in any such activity. 

In the case of money muling, the individual is persuaded to allow someone else to transfer money into their bank account for a small fee. The money is often moved to support criminals activities. 

Some individuals are persuaded to use their information to get a credit card or purchase items for a larger fraud ring. Young unemployed individuals are vulnerable to such offers as they are unaware that money muling can have long term consequences. It can lead to account closing, and the individual gets a bad credit reputation. 

They may find it difficult to obtain banking or credit services later in life. Also, they may be asked to pay fines, and in some cases, they may be imprisoned. 

Some individual frauds are committed by firms that use individuals' details without their consent or knowledge to gain credit or products. The scammers may use the details to create a new identity and fake information. Some such common types are bank loan scams and parcel delivery. 

So businesses that need to meet customer expectations should have updated security standards in the digital marketplace to detect and prevent it. 

During the covid spread, scammers advertised face masks and medical equipment at a higher price on the internet. They impersonated government officials and sent emails to people. They offered life insurance, and some even participated in door-to-door campaigns to get charity donations for bogus organisations. 

If you get emails from some unknown organisation, pay close attention to the address used in the emails. Try to find out from where the mail is coming. The bogus emails will never use the right name or address, and they will not address personally. 

The sender's name may appear like a known company or person, but you should always double-check the address as the bogus mailers do not use real domains.

How To Protect Yourself?

  • Do not click on suspicious links, especially when the mail talks about a problem and asks you to click the link to get a solution for your problem.

  • If you make online purchases, check the security features and the address bar of payment gateways.

  • If you get pop up messages to enter secretive information, close the window and do not enter any data. Activate the pop-up blockers on your browser. 

  • Do not accept offers that are too good to be true.

  • Do not hand over money or sign in for subscriptions or other features unless you have checked the service provider's credentials.

  • Always log on to an authorised website instead of following a link sent through an unknown source.

  • Do not believe in attractive reviews, testimonials or brochures on unreliable sites.

  • Try to get independent legal advice if you suspect any monetary transactions. If you suspect a bank transaction, freeze and lock your account. Also, report it to authorised authorities. 

  • If you suspect your mobile or computer has been hacked, reset the passwords, let your bank know that your data has been stolen and update your anti-virus software. 

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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