How Online Scams Is Affecting The World We Live In
The latest report on online fraud has reported that there are now more than 1.8 million victims of online fraud in the world each year. This number will continue to grow in years to come.
The report further shows that credit card fraud is the most common form of online fraud, where criminals use it to purchase goods for resale or personal consumption.
The report also provides several tips on how people can protect themselves from becoming another victim of online fraud.
They also suggest that banks should step up their efforts against online fraud by increasing the security measures taken before approving any transactions requested over the internet to prevent these kinds of scams from happening again.
Statistics on online fraud
– 1.8 million victims of online fraud annually
– Credit card is the most commonly used instrument by scammers
– Victims are recommended to contact banks for further action
– Banks are encouraged to increase online security measures before approving transactions requested over the internet.
According to a report by Financial Fraud Action UK, there are around 1.8 million victims of online fraud every year in the UK alone, where most targets are “vulnerable” individuals such as female pensioners.
It was also found out that one in 10 people have experienced some form of online fraud throughout their lifetime.
Common Scams You Need To Know
The most commonly used instruments by scammers are credit cards which often get stolen through credit card thefts or skimmers on ATMs or point of sale (POS) machines.
This is followed by phishing and malware incidents like viruses and spyware that enable cybercriminals to access to sensitive information on computers. Furthermore, it is noted that scams and attacks involving social media and online dating sites also increased by 22% in 2015.
The most affected age group is between 20 and 39 years old, representing more than 50% of the victims.
This statistic only represents those cases where fraud was actually detected; thus, there might be even more people who were scammed but never noticed it at all.
There are also some “hotspots” for this kind of crime such as London (with nearly 30%) or Birmingham (at around 10%).
These numbers double if we consider cybercrime in general rather than just online fraud; thus, we can conclude that Britain has a very serious problem on its hands with cybercrime that needs to be addressed as soon as possible.
Although such studies do not give us much information on the origins of this fraud, we can catch a couple of glimpses by looking at some statistics.
It seems that the countries producing most cases of online fraud detected are Nigeria, followed by Ivory Coast and Morocco.
Other than this, it’s difficult to find more details about the origin and distribution of online fraud; however, it should be noted that these three countries are also those with the lowest living standards in Africa which might increase their popularity as destinations for cybercriminals.
Legal Actions Regarding Online Scams
There are no official numbers regarding arrests or legal actions against internet criminals (or any kind of criminal) in such countries; thus, we don’t know how common it is to get arrested if you’re caught.
On the other hand, in some countries, you can get arrested if police officers believe you were doing something illegal on the internet. Keep that in mind when browsing online or making purchases online!
Online fraud is nothing new; however, it’s becoming more of an issue for people who buy or sell things on sites like eBay and Craiglist. Criminals are perfecting their techniques every year to make them undetectable by victims while conning them out of thousands of dollars.
Companies are also using more sophisticated techniques to make their sites seem more legitimate. Even things like logos and user interface (UI) can trick victims into thinking they’re safe to use the site.
The FBI has recently come out with statistics that show just how many people are affected by online fraud every year in the United States. The number is very large! We’ve included some of these stats below for your review :
One estimate places the dollar volume of cybercrime, or crimes committed through computers, at $100 billion in losses in 2008 alone.
How Online Scams Affect Small Business
An often-cited statistic indicates that approximately 60 percent of small businesses do not reopen following an attack due to financial pressures.
Organizations worldwide spend between $60 billion to $200 billion each year on cyber security measures.
According to the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation, over 320 million people live in the United States.
Assuming that these numbers are accurate, that means that nearly one out of every three or four people living in America fell victim to online fraud within the last twelve months. The number is astronomical!
How do you protect yourself? Read on for some helpful advice :
– Never release personal information unless absolutely necessary and if the website looks safe enough to trust with your information
– Make sure there’s a padlock icon next to their URL (the address) indicating SSL security protocols are being used for this site; be wary of sites using older ‘HTTP rather than newer ‘HTTPS security protocols
– Check all links before clicking them to ensure they go to legitimate sites (avoid any site that looks like one thing but takes you somewhere else, or even highjacks your computer )
– Be extremely wary of providing personal information if the website doesn’t have an imprint; some websites are set up specifically for stealing personal data (and use this to apply for credit cards, get PINs and passwords, etc.)
– When in doubt about releasing personal/financial information online, assume it’s a scam until proven otherwise. In fact assume everything is a scam until proven otherwise – if it looks too good to be true, then there’s definitely something fishy going on.
– Check the URL before entering any important data. The actual address of a website needs to match up with what’s displayed in the browser. Sometimes, cybercriminals will display one thing in the link, but when you click on it, it will take you to another site.
– Furthermore, if there are spellings typos (e.g., “Googlle” instead of “Google”), this may be an indicator that it could be fraudulent.
– Double-check all email addresses sent by companies and other parties asking for personal information or money transfer. Often times they can look real enough but slight spelling mistakes should cause suspicion.
These days there are readily available tools to find out if your email address has been compromised.
– If you are unsure, always verify through an additional channel (e.g., phone call).
– Always be extremely wary of who is giving you your password over the phone, especially if it’s not a customer service agent from one of your own companies.
– Commonly used fake websites that were created by cybercriminals for stealing money or personal information includes ebay.com, paypal.com, email*secure*.com, check*out*express .net, visa*verify .org, etc…
The best way to avoid these sites is to compare them with reputable sites and only enter information on the trusted ones.
– Hovering your mouse pointer over certain parts of the website can reveal the real web address.
– Use anti-virus software installed on your computer. Also, make sure your anti-virus is updated regularly.
– Use common sense when accessing online banking sites and do not share passwords via email or other unsecured methods.
No matter what be sure you do your due diligence when accessing online banking accounts.
– Do not give out any passwords to anyone claiming you have won a prize or are being awarded something. Some even go so far as to say you will have to pay taxes on the winnings!
– You should never have to pay anything in order to get money from somebody else. This is another common trick, where people are asked for fees in order for them to release funds that are owed.
Their website may look real and very convincing but trust me, once you request payment they’ll send back an email saying there was a typo error in their records.
At that point, they’ll ask you for more money after which point it becomes a downward spiral of requests for money followed by excuses why the person cannot leave the office or why they need more money.
Be very wary if someone asks for payment using a physical object such as a pre-paid debit card, iTunes voucher, or similar. As soon as someone requests payment for an item using any of the mentioned methods, be on high alert as it’s probably a scam.
– If somebody asks you to send them money in order for you to receive something from the same person who is asking for the money, it is usually a scam.
The situation often gets worse when the supposed creditor asks for your bank details so they can deposit some of their own funds into your account. Such requests must be ignored and reported to the police immediately!
The scammers may even give various reasons as to why they cannot deposit these funds themselves. Their goal is to take your money, and they will say and do everything possible to achieve that goal.
– The person who is asking for the money may say that they are on holiday or that their bank account has been frozen.
– Whenever somebody asks you to send them money via Western Union, MoneyGram, wire transfer, it is almost certainly a scam!
What To Do If You Are The Victim Of Online Fraud
– Don’t be embarrassed! Online fraud is common and happens to lots of people every day.
– Report the crime immediately to Action Fraud or your local police force.
– If you have sent money to an individual you do not know, report them to the appropriate authorities within your country.
The internet has opened up a whole new world for us all, but it has also provided online criminals with huge opportunities.
Sadly, age does not protect us from this type of activity as 95% of scammers are under the age of 50 years old!
The scammers may even use photographs that have been taken from social networking sites or downloaded from Google images. So the first rule when receiving unsolicited messages is to treat them as highly suspicious.
People may be sending you messages because they want to take advantage of your profile and embark on a scam.
– If the person who approached you has asked for money, either inform them that their request is declined or report it to Action Fraud.
– If you have sent money to an individual you do not know, report them to your local police who can then escalate it to the FBI or appropriate Federal agency.
If someone asks for your bank details inform them that they are not required in order for you two to continue your relationship, DO NOT give out any information pertaining to your personal accounts or bank cards, etc, no matter how genuine the reason may seem!
Scammers may attempt to trick you into revealing valuable personal details such as your home address. With this information, they can find out a lot about you and scammers can use this information to their advantage.
Always remember no one will ever ask for your bank account password, PIN number, or any banking information by email or text message.
If they do contact you via email and ask for this sort of information DO NOT reply! It is a sign of fraudulent activity and should always be avoided.
With all of this, you are now equipped with the knowledge of how to handle these unsavory online interactions, enjoy your newfound awareness!
It has been predicted that by 2022, online fraud will cost the world $6 trillion. The implications of such a high number are immeasurable and we should all be paying close attention to how this is impacting our lives in ways never before seen.
We have to take a stand now before it’s too late. The world needs us, and we need the world! Let’s help each other by staying vigilant and taking these steps towards a safer internet for all of our future generations.