Internet scams and how to combat them
It is difficult to ensure information security in the Internet space. This is primarily due to the anonymity of Internet users. The creators of the Internet wanted to provide conditions for free exchange of information with free access for everyone. The lack of measures to protect information flows creates a platform for online fraud.
Prerequisites for internet fraud
Most of the cheaters on the Internet have one goal - to get rich quickly and easily. Another premise is related to the number of gullible users who voluntarily give their savings to scammers in the hope of helping them solve problems. Criminals use various methods of deception: they collect money for "operations" for seriously ill people, "save" endangered animals, fight for the environment or human rights.
Deceived Internet users rarely report fraud. Most of them believe that it is impossible to prosecute Internet scammers. Indeed, it is not always possible to prove the fact of fraud in the qualification of Article 159 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. Therefore, dishonest "businessmen" continue to engage in online fraud without fear of criminal prosecution.
Types of deception on the Internet
Internet fraud is evolving and evolving with the advancement of technology. However, scammers still speculate on the feelings of users, blackmail and intimidate victims for their own benefit. Common methods of scamming on the World Wide Web are phishing, identity theft, fake online shopping, marriage scams, money transfers to fake wallets or bank cards, and passive income traps.
Such fraud involves obtaining unauthorized access to personal information of users, for example, logins and passwords of pages on social networks or PIN codes of credit cards. The victim receives an e-mail "from a bank" or a "seller company" whose services he has used several times. The letter to the recipient, for example, prompts:
- Take part in the competition, and for this - fill out a form and indicate passport details with a credit card number.
- Reactivate your account by sending SMS to the specified phone number, after which a large amount is withdrawn from the subscriber's account.
- Duplicate the login and password for entering their social media page or website, which is due to a server failure.
- Follow the link and enter personal information, which is easily copied by scammers.
Before fulfilling the requirements from any letter, you should think about whether the user sent an application for participation in a promotion or competition, double-check the ability to access your account. An e-mail request to transfer money as payment for tax or access to sections of the site is most often fraudulent.
Theft of personal information
The purpose of this online scam is similar to that of phishing: scammers seek to take over the user's personal data. They are interested in credit card numbers with pin codes, account logins and passwords.
A popular method of deception has become sending SMS about fictitious blocking of a bank card. To remove the "blocking", scammers offer to send a message to a short number. If you receive such a warning by SMS, you should contact the bank and double-check the information. Otherwise, attackers will gain access to the bank card account.
E-commerce fraud is becoming widespread. The deception algorithm is simple. The buyer is asked to make an advance payment - transfer money to an electronic wallet to confirm the order, which takes 2-3 days to "process". After the specified time, the client receives a message that the goods are on the way and will be delivered in the near future. After 2-3 weeks, the site of the store “disappears” from the Internet, and the deceived customer is left without money and without an order.
Such fraud has one goal - to get the maximum amount from gullible customers in the shortest possible time. It takes a few minutes to create a site for a non-existent store, and after its "liquidation" the swindlers continue to deceive Internet users on a new site under a new name.
Therefore, before making an advance payment, the buyer should find out more about the reputation of the site, double-check the links and talk with the managers of the online store to clarify information about the entrepreneur or the seller company.
Marriage swindlers and virtual beggars
Searching for your love on the Internet is a common phenomenon of the 21st century. And scammers do not stand aside. Most often, marriage fraud is carried out in two ways.
In the first case, a fictitious dating site is created. Registration and access to the profiles you like on such a resource are paid. After transferring the money, the client looks at the photo, corresponds with the people he likes and does not suspect that the swindlers are answering him. This scam allows attackers to receive money from each victim over time.
In the second case, the swindler registers a profile on a legal dating site, gains access to the profiles of other users and enters into correspondence with them. Thanks to virtual messages, the attacker learns the personal information of the "chosen one" or "chosen one", which he uses for psychological manipulation. After some time, the fraudster, for example, complains of a serious illness and asks for money for treatment, or decides to visit the victim's city and asks to buy tickets.
This does not mean that you should completely abandon dating on the Internet. You just need to be careful. You should not register on marriage sites with a dubious reputation, send money to unfamiliar people or tell them your home address and other personal data.
Similarly, virtual beggars work, which create pages on social networks or websites in order to lure money from compassionate users. Gullible users do not suspect that they are supporting online fraud and transfer money to treat children who do not need it.
Withdraw funds to virtual wallets and bank cards
One of the most popular online scams is related to the gaming industry. Free message boards and social media groups offer assistance in withdrawing money from online casinos. The cost of the "service" is 50% of the withdrawal amount.
With this kind of fraud, scammers get "easy money" in just one click. And the victim not only earns nothing, but also loses his own savings on the card, and if the card is not blocked in time, money continues to be withdrawn from the account in regular payments.
Such fraud is still found on the Web, and there are still people who want to transfer two or three hundred rubles for the promised opportunity to receive passive income for life. However, there are few such “pyramids”, and their income is minimal.
Who Fights Virtual Scams?
Online fraud is a criminal offense, so claims of fraud are accepted by law enforcement agencies. Over the years of fighting virtual swindlers, the police have developed the skills to investigate such cases.
Most cybercriminals believe that the loss of several hundred rubles is not a reason to contact the police. But it is precisely the numerous statements of victims at the hands of scammers that make it possible to quickly uncover Internet deception and detain criminals.
A specialized structure is engaged in the disclosure of scams on the Internet - the Department "K" of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia. However, the application will also be accepted in the district office. The employees themselves will redirect it to the right addressee.
In order for the appeal to serve as a sufficient basis for starting criminal proceedings, the application must indicate:
- the address of the Internet resource, interaction with which resulted in damage;
- the username or nickname of the swindler in the social network or on the forum;
- the number of the card or current account to which the money was sent;
- mobile number to which SMS was sent;
- the scammer's email address, scans of emails or forum posts.
It is important to remember that it will not be possible to initiate criminal proceedings on the basis of an anonymous call to the hotline. It is better to send an appeal through a special form in the section "Reception of applications" on the official website of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
Banks and payment systems maintain their own security services. When contacting customer support, managers block the swindler's wallet and specify his details. Such information will help the victim to defend their rights in court.
The basis for online fraud is the credulity of users. Decreasing the level of trust in strangers will help to successfully fight scammers. There are simple rules to avoid online fraud:
- Too low a price is a sign of a scam. It is worth comparing prices for a similar product on other resources.
- Before transferring money for an expensive surgery or rehabilitation, you should contact the activists who are collecting funds. If the ad is true, comprehensive information about the patient, the cost and place of treatment, the amount of funds collected and other information is provided at the first request.
- "Easy earnings without difficulty in exchange for 100 rubles" - announcements from malefactors planning to create a new "pyramid".
- An obsessive offer to buy a video course that will “completely change your” life is also indicative of a scam. "Honest scammers" can still send video tutorials "How to make money on the Internet." However, the proposed methods will bring no more than 50-60 rubles per day, and not 5-6 thousand, as was stated.
Most users prefer not to respond to scam ads. This is the best strategy. If, moreover, every at least every third user who received such an offer or read the announcement passed information to the police, the “population” of swindlers on the Web would noticeably decrease. Conscientiousness about the safety of all users is the key to effectively combating online fraud.