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Why Indians Lose More Money To Online Frauds Than Other Asians?

26-Nov-2016 written by : FSI-Team

*Ping* New Email Received from Coca Cola Company. It read: CONGRATULATIONS: YOU HAVE WON LOTTERY PRIZE FUND (£5,500,000.00). The naïve and honest young Abha Kumar thought it was nothing short of an answer to his prayers. Little did he know it was only a rip-off. He lost more than two lakhs in the hope of making much more in return.

The message in the mail was convincing but the truth is the amount was so captivating that it overpowered Kumar’s sense of reasoning. Who doesn’t nurture a tiny desire to get rich overnight? Wining a lottery is the easiest route to achieving it. You will be alarmed to learn that not just lottery mails, but scams such as “Facebook is trying to become the largest employer in India”, “Work in USA/ Canada”, “Get paid in dollars while you work from home”, or “Get an Apple iPhone for free” are a few more that have gained substantial power in the recent times.

A recent survey revealed that most Indians lose money in online scams. The same survey even termed Indians as “probably the most gullible lot on the planet”. Are we? Are we really that gullible and indolent as surveys have commonly labelled us? Well, if the global numbers on people falling victim to frauds are to be seen then maybe we are. It’s time we changed this perception about ourselves.

Often people are drawn to irresistible advertisements. Indians lose more money to e-frauds because they have a soft corner for the idea of making easy money. Given the unemployment figures, it is easy for fraudsters to lure on the promise of a job. It is also true that most people are not aware about the different types of scams and don’t know how to protect ones financial identity against such cons. Here are a few tips on how to stay safe when using the internet:

  • Fraudsters work with softwares such as spywares and malwares that self install in your computer. The idea is to steal your personal and security details that can be used to commit bank frauds. Before accessing the net, you must install a powerful and updated anti-virus that will form a shield against Trojans, malwares, viruses, phishing mails etc. Avoid accessing unsecured websites and stay clear of Phishing emails. Once a Trojan installs in the background, it is designed to monitor all online transactions and send credit card and password details to remote computers. Phishing emails seem to come from trusted sources but they don’t. Do not reply to any such emails nor open them if you don’t trust them.
  • Once a Trojan installs in the background, it is designed to monitor all online transactions and send credit card and password details to remote computers. Phishing emails seem to come from trusted sources but they don’t. Do not reply to any such emails nor open them if you don’t trust them.
  • Scamsters are not limited to your old desktop computers. Today they can hack information from your mobile, your tablets, ATMs and credit cards. Make sure your mobile and tabs have anti-virus softwares. Avoid connecting to unprotected public Wi-Fis. No matter how inviting the idea is but never access important banking sites through public computers. If ever you have to then make sure you clear the browsing history, form data, cookies and passwords from browser settings.
  • We are not indolent. We are never shy of working hard. Work on making your passwords strong and more creative. Use multiple characters and ensure you don’t share your passwords with anyone. Change your passwords regularly like once a month. Don’t write them down at a place from where anyone can see it. Always keep your cards and PINs dearly protected. Never let them out of your sight.
  • A quick tip: Access those websites where the address begins with https:// instead of http://. Note the “s” at the end of first one. It stands for “secure”.
  • Check your accounts regularly. Keep a watch on your CIBIL report because it can be a valid source of information on identity theft. If you notice any irregularities then report them to your bank immediately.

Summarising

A quick look at a few numbers:

  • According to a survey done by KPMG a couple of years ago, showed 71% of sample Indian population had experienced e-commerce, internet or cyber related fraud.
  • 36% of Indians, who were cheated online, lost an average of Rs. 8.19 lakh per person.
  • Pan Asia average per person loss was not more than 6.18 lakh.
  • People have experienced lottery, job related, bank email and identity theft scams.

Whatever it is, it would be misleading to assume Indians are dumb. We are peace loving, honest and unsuspecting. We are one of the wisest of all races but only if we keep our heads over our shoulders when it comes to making easy money. So next time you read an email asking for your details cause you have won some huge amount, don’t let yourself go weak in the knees. Report it as junk and delete it.

Stay alert at all times. If you notice any additional untoward equipment attached to an ATM’s card reader then don’t use it. It could be a skimming device that steals card information which is then used to duplicate the card. Most importantly, talk to family members and friends and educate them against such frauds and do initiate your credit check regularly. Save one. Save all.


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