The Rise of Online Fraud
It is clear that online fraud has existed as an issue for as long as it has been possible for criminals to use technology for it. From the eighties, when Bob Barker’s “Do You Wanna Buy A Baby?” scam was prevalent, to modern day with the emergence of sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, there has been no shortage of schemes and scams.
Nowadays, even newspapers are not spared from this increasingly problematic category. Newspapers and websites which involve readers being tricked into making purchases on the promise of receiving instant prizes, such as eBooks or weekly competitions, are a typical example of online fraud.
The Impact of Online Fraud
The positive impact of online fraud cannot be overstated. It has become such a big part of many business owners’ lives that it has often become the only option. When making payments to online suppliers, people have to deal with all sorts of unpleasant experiences because of these online frauds. This ultimately is not good for business as the environment becomes toxic and distrustful.
For example, there are a couple of online business owners who were left in the lurch after being deceived by scammers in the name of delivering their products on time. Imagine someone telling you that your order has been shipped and they asked you to make payment to the service provider to make sure it reaches you as promised.
Who Are the Victims of Online Fraud?
Online fraud can be used to defraud children who are unaware of what they are doing.
Anytime you or someone you know creates an account on an online site, the chances are that you are at risk of becoming a victim of online fraud.
People who sign up for online platforms or applications, for instance, online banks, have a very high risk of being a victim of online fraud.
Conversely, online shoppers can fall victims to online scam. Most online stores provide free shipping for items they send to their customers.
In doing so, they expect their customers to purchase items that they normally could not afford to pay for.
So as a result, it becomes difficult for them to tell genuine customers from their scam ones.
Nevertheless, there are different ways that online fraud can be prevented.
How do scammers find their victims?
First, the scammers carefully investigate the potential victims and then move towards this targeted behaviour with techniques such as:
- Tweak the offer
- Use photos to create false claims
- Hack the social network accounts of potential victims
- Know how to make the victim trust them
- Secure phones
- Fake Social Network Accounts
Fake Facebook accounts are widely used to create fake personas or to interact with a potential victim. The scammers can be contacted through either fake or real profiles of a non-existent person, created by a script. Using an old photo, the scammer can add new details, such as using filters to make his or her picture look “better.” By interacting with the “person”, the scammer can gather information on the victim.
Can we stop these scams in 2021?
Thanks to advancements in technology, some companies are constantly putting in efforts to help individuals to keep themselves safe online. In the course of doing so, many companies have also found that they can reduce the amount of fraudulent activity that occurs in the name of business. In fact, a 2016 poll conducted by the Better Business Bureau revealed that a quarter of consumers are victims of online frauds and that 61% of people have been a victim of cyber scams in the past. In order to bring down these numbers, there are a few tech-based innovations that have been introduced in the online space in recent years.
The exponential growth of the Internet makes it easier than ever for fraudsters to carry out their operations. Their victims are mainly innocents who need the support of the government or people around them. The advancement of technology has drastically helped criminals to come up with ingenious ways to commit crime. It also has also reduced the number of opportunities for people to report and report scam.
With the help of government agencies, government bodies can take various steps to combat the threats. They can make online businesses legally liable for any crimes committed by their employees or suppliers, in a bid to curb this threat. In addition, they can also strengthen the infrastructure of all the financial institutions, financial regulation bodies and insurance companies.