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What is fraud and cyber crime?

What is fraud and cyber crime?

Fraud means adopting dishonest ways to gain a financial advantage over another person. It can be committed by individuals or groups who indulge in such crimes or commit it in person with others in many different ways. 

As per the latest surveys from NFIB, the number of cyber cases has increased threefold in the first half of the year 2021, where the overall loss was £1.3bn (last year it was £414.7m). Regionally, London and the South East and Eastern England reported the highest loss.

The officials claim the crime appears to be getting out of control, particularly during the covid lockdowns, as the figures have increased significantly. Therefore, the officials have asked the government to generate awareness and educate the public about it.  

How Does It Happen?

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. 

For example, they may use spoofed bank websites or call from reliable eCommerce websites or government offices pretending to be tax officers or police seeking fund transfer as a penalty or fee payment for some service. 

Second, they indulge in cyber-enabled crime like conducting conventional cheatings like Postal frauds lottery or romance scams using computer apps. They can indulge in hacking where they bypass network securities set locally to gain access to the victim's systems, mainly intending to disrupt their business or restrict their system functions. 

They can install malicious software into their machines which can interfere with the functions of the computer. For example, they can deploy an app to steal the local data or infect the system with Trojans or ransomware. 

There are other types of attacks where technically advanced methodologies can overload a business or individual's server, making the internet-based services or websites unavailable. 

They can even use the collection of untraceable online sites called the dark web to access user data or disrupt their work.

Social media offences are often cyber-enabled. For example, one collects information about an individual or a group of people committing crimes by sending emails to harm or threaten unsuspecting users. Stalking and virtual mobbing are other crimes committed on social media platforms. 
 
Similarly, phishing can be committed by individuals or groups who steal confidential information stored online or collect personal data of people who shop online to exploit it to commit crimes like harassment, bullying the customer, or seeking fund transfer for bogus offers. 

There can be other types like financial or romance scams committed by adopting well-organised believable methods by some untraceable offenders who may be sitting thousands of miles away, often difficult for the police or law enforcement to map out. 

They may commit identity theft to get documents like licenses or passports or open bank accounts to get loans in the name of another person. They are invisible attackers who use strange tricks to access your information to exploit your resources.

The best way to protect is to generate awareness know-how it may happen.

How To Avoid Scams?

  • Restrict access to your account. For example, people have been advised not to accept offers from unsolicited callers or open malicious unverified emails. In addition, businesses have been asked to deploy newer methods to help customers feel secure, like using AI or face recognition to identify genuine users. 

  • Do not go for an opportunity that appears to be too good to be true. Instead, always follow reliable business practices.

  • Know whom you are dealing with, and do not transfer funds to an organisation or business without getting access to all the relevant details. 

  • If you enter into business with someone, always be aware of their agreement terms and review the conditions with an authorised expert.

  • Do not post your bank details or register with sites that sent an email to modify the subscription terms, impersonating the authorised firm. One should not feel pressured to change their details on bank websites links sent in emails or messages. 

  • Always ensure the email address and phone numbers registered with authorised websites are correct. 

  • Use strong passwords for all the accounts and install anti-virus software to avoid downloading malicious software or applications. 

  • If you pay any money to another account, check it by paying a small amount and ensure the authorised person receives it. 

  • Avoid using unprotected wi-fi systems to access emails. Likewise, do not use public networks to conduct monetary transactions as such systems can be easily hacked by scammers.

  • If you suspect a fraud, report it to the authorities.

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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