How many times have you received an email that looks frighteningly similar to the ones you receive from your bank, insurance company or an online shopping website? More popular as ‘phishing’, the fraudster aims at replicating the email and the company website to deceive the user into thinking that it is a genuine communication from the bank requesting for your personal information like bank account number or credit card number or PIN (personal identification number) on the reverse of your debit / credit card. One easy giveaway is the website address or URL which will be close to the real company name but not its exact name. For instance, it could be www.hdfcliife.com instead of www.hdfclife.com. It looks similar at first, but it’s not the same.
Friend in distress
How often have you received an email from a friend who when you last knew was in top condition, but is now surprisingly stranded in an African country or some remote part of the earth reaching out to you urgently for monetary help? The good news is your friend is not stranded in some remote corner of the world. The bad news is that his email account has been hacked and all his contacts have received the aforementioned email. So ignore the email and warn your common friends about it so they don’t fall prey to it.
Have you ever received an email informing you of how lucky you are to win an exclusive lottery out of a few lakh individuals? You would have been just as surprised to learn about the ‘fee’ to be paid before collecting the lottery winnings. The email will make that clear - no fee, no money. If you haven’t or couldn’t pay the fee, consider yourself lucky, because there is no money to be collected. It is a scam. Anyone who offers you lottery winnings and it looks too good to be true; then it probably is. And if he wants to collect a fee running in lakhs before parting with the lottery proceeds, then it has scam written all over it in capital letters.
Buying and selling goods through internet auction sites is very common today helping individuals further their business or serve as a pastime in the least. However, not everyone on an auction site is there with unquestionable motives. Some have an agenda and it is to steal your money. Today, internet auction fraud is among the more common rip-offs. There are many out there preying on gullible and trusting individuals promising to make a transaction without any intention of concluding it. To avoid landing in a mess, follow some basic rules while buying and selling on the internet: a. Clarity on where you want your goods shipped to b. Transacting on established and trustworthy websites c. Transacting with new sellers only after checking credentials d. Using trackable means of payment that offers protection against fraud
There are fraudsters who take out financial products, like loans, in your name. This may appear incredulous, but when you think of it, all it takes to apply for a loan is your utility bills and bank statements, all of which can be retrieved easily enough from your bin if you haven’t been careful in discarding them. The fraudster then builds up a personal information database, which helps him apply for the loan at a later date. You will be left with the liability of paying off the loan. Although, not strictly of an online nature like the other frauds listed here, it may assume an online shape in future.
CREDIT & DEBIT CARD FRAUD
Credit card fraud is a wide-ranging term for theft and fraud committed using a credit card or any similar payment mechanism as a fraudulent source of payment in a transaction. The purpose may be to obtain goods without paying, or to obtain unauthorized funds from an account. Credit card fraud is also an add-on to identity theft. Card account information is stored in a number of formats. Account numbers are often embossed or imprinted on the card, and a magnetic stripe on the back contains the data in machine readable format. Debit card fraud - duplicating one or more of your bank cards, makes up the most regularly seen types of fraud.
Mail/Internet order fraud
The mail and the Internet are major routes for fraud against merchants who sell and ship products, as well Internet merchants who provide online services. In this, fraudster presents stolen card information by indirect means, whether by mail, telephone or over the Internet to merchant site and orders the delivery of goods of lower value to avoid suspicion
Skimming is the theft of credit card information used in an otherwise legitimate transaction. It is typically an "inside job" by a dishonest employee of a legitimate merchant, and can be as simple as photocopying of receipts. Common scenarios for skimming are restaurants or bars where the skimmer has possession of the victim's credit card out of their immediate view. The skimmer will typically use a small keypad to unobtrusively transcribe the 3 or 4 digit Card Security Code which is not present on the magnetic strip. Instances of skimming have been reported where the perpetrator has put a device over the card slot of a public cash machine (automated teller machine), which reads the magnetic strip as the user unknowingly passes their card through it. These devices are often used in conjunction with a pinhole camera to read the user's PIN at the same time.