In an era dominated by technology and connectivity, scam calls have become an unfortunate reality for many individuals. These deceptive calls can range from fake lottery winnings and phony debt collectors to imposter government officials seeking personal information. In recent times, the most numbers of scams taking place are internet scams particularly online scams in banking. Especially during covid-19, when almost all activities are taking place online, these scams are increasing with each passing day.
VARIOUS KINDS OF ONLINE SCAMS ARE AS FOLLOWS:
Caller ID Spoofing: Scammers use technology to manipulate caller ID information, making it appear as though the call is coming from a trustworthy source, such as a government agency, bank, or a legitimate business.
Urgency and Fear Tactics: Many scams involve creating a sense of urgency or fear to prompt immediate action. For instance, scammers may claim that the recipient owes money or that their personal information is at risk, pressuring them to disclose sensitive details.
DONATIONS SCAMS: Some people often claim that they need financial assistance for some medical reason or even for basic necessities, many of these claims can be real but this has also become a way of scamming people by creating fake accounts on donation sites to collect money.
Fake Prizes: A scammer claims that the victim has won a non-existence, takes personal details from the victim by convincing the victims that such details needs to be shared to claim the prize
Phishing: Phishing is a type of online scam where cybercriminals attempt to trick individuals into divulging sensitive information, such as usernames, passwords, credit card numbers, or other personal details.
Threat scams: A scammer might threaten the victim to embarrass or injure him or his family member unless a certain amount of money is paid. The scammers might gather personal details from social media website
HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM SUCH SCAMS
1. Be Skeptical:
Avoid clicking on links or downloading attachments from unknown or unexpected sources.
2.Verify Sender Identities:
Check the legitimacy of the sender by verifying email addresses, especially in the case of unexpected or suspicious messages. Be wary of slight variations or misspellings in email domains.
3. Use Strong, Unique Passwords:
Create strong, unique passwords for your online accounts. Avoid using the same password across multiple platforms.
4. Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA):
Implement two-factor authentication wherever possible. This adds an extra layer of security by requiring a second form of verification, such as a code sent to your mobile device.
Stay informed about common online scams and tactics used by cybercriminals. Regularly update your knowledge on cybersecurity best practices to recognize and avoid potential threats.
6.Install and Update Security Software:
Use reputable antivirus and anti-malware software. Keep these programs updated to protect against the latest threats. Regularly update your operating system and applications to patch vulnerabilities.
7.Be Cautious with Personal Information
Avoid sharing sensitive information, such as passwords, Social Security numbers, or financial details, through email, social media, or on unsecured websites. Legitimate organizations typically do not request sensitive information via email.
LEGAL PROVISIONS REGARDING ONLINE SCAMS IN INDIA
SECTION 66D, IT Act, 2000- Punishment for cheating by personation by using computer resource. -Whoever, by means for any communication device or computer resource cheats by personating, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine which may extend to one lakh rupees.
SECTION 43, IT Act – Penalty and compensation for damage to computer, computer system, etc. -If any person without permission of the owner or any other person who is incharge of a computer, computer system or computer network
SECTION 74, IT Act – Punishment for identity theft. -Whoever, fraudulently or dishonestly make use of the electronic signature, password or any other unique identification feature of any other person, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine with may extend to rupees one lakh.
In the ever-evolving digital landscape, understanding the nuances of online scams is crucial for safeguarding oneself from potential threats. By staying informed, adopting secure online practices, and cultivating a healthy skepticism, individuals can navigate the web with confidence, minimizing the risk of falling victim to the deceitful tactics of cybercriminals.
Written by: Adv. Abhishek Chauhan