Online fraud is theft which is committed online. These types of frauds involve financial fraud or identity fraud. There are various ways in which online fraud is done. Online fraud is mainly done to get the individual reveal personal information or by luring the person to willingly transfer money to the scammers account. These frauds can either be done through virus attacks or by sending emails with a log in page that would collect individual’s personal data or by luring the person to send money to accounts created by fraudsters via fake websites.
The most common types of online fraud are phishing and spoofing.
Phishing: this is a process of sending fake e-mails through fraudulent websites to trick people into revealing their personal and financial information. This information includes extracting data like usernames, passwords, credit card numbers, social security numbers, and so on. These e-mails direct you to a website or a page where you can update personal information. This often results in identity theft and financial loss.
Spoofing: This technique is used by scammers to gain unauthorized access to computers. Here the intruder sends messages to a computer with an IP address indicating that the message is coming from a trusted host. The scammers impersonates an identity, user or a device on a network to launch attacks against network hosts, steal data, spread malware or bypass access controls.
The success of online shopping is mainly due to the advancement of technology. Technology has made it easier for scammers to hack people’s personal data. However, it is often the tech savvy people who fall prey to these online scams. The fraudsters often play with people’s emotions either by exploiting the ability to make irrational decisions under the influence of emotions or by engaging a user to an extent where they wilfully agree to transfer money to the scammers accounts.
It is a crime where the scammers play smart exploiting people’s greed or by exploiting the ignorance of people who have less knowledge on technology. Online shopping frauds are also on the rise. The typical online shopping frauds are as follows:
Prize scam: These scams can be committed, by telephone or by mail. They inform that you have won a prize like a large sum of money, shopping vouchers, a free holiday or travel related products and to claim it, you are asked to send money or provide personal information.
Products at very low prices: A product is advertised at an unbelievably low price, or advertised saying they have amazing benefits or features that sound too good to be true. The online site may ask for payment before accessing the deal or make you pay for some fake vouchers.
Foreign retailer: When purchasing goods from a foreign shopping site, carefully go through the information on the retailer’s policies and delivery. An online retailer often does not provide adequate information on privacy, terms and conditions of use, dispute, resolution or contact details. The seller may be based overseas and may charge double for customs or may ask for payments through unsecure websites.
Unsecured Payment method: The biggest fraud on a retail website is the method of payment. Scammers will often ask you to pay using a money order or wire transfer. Once you make the payment through this method, it is likely you will never receive the purchased item or most probably receive a fake item.
A consumer cheated by an online shopping site can raise a complaint against them, by registering a consumer complaint on the official website of the consumer online resource and empowerment centre. It is a grievance redressal cell of the government where the consumers need to register themselves. After registration, the consumer can file a complaint. The consumer can file a complaint against any registered brand or service provider.
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