The growth and increase in information technology and telecommunication there has been an increase in illegal activities in the reel world which has indirectly affected the real world, having connection with cyberspace, proxy server, hijacking mails and fake websites are being used as a gateway or tool for fraud and virtual crime or cyber crime. The human nature of greed, at the time connected with digital world makes it hard for the layman to get out of the net. It is easier to get connected with the outer world or the digital world but at the same time it becomes difficult and vulnerable to online scams, fraud etc.
Types of Cyber-Crime
a. Phishing- It comes from English word fishing (to catch fish). In real world it is cheating. A research conducted by CISCO on email fishing kit which cost around $65.
i. Virus Injection through Phishing:
A. SMS link
B. Email attachments
C. Post with Malware
ii. Phishing Links to Fake Links (fake URL)
iii. Phishing by Temptation (Bank to Cash)
iv. Vishing through phone calls
b. Social Media
i. SM Overuse
ii. SM Fake News: More than 70% are false
iii. SM Panic and Fear Mongering
iv. SM Misuse
c. Monitoring Children
i. Online Gaming (business)
ii. Online Bulling
iii. Online Grooming
iv. Fake Profile Amanda Tort
d. Cyber Terrorism as defined under Sec 66F of Information Technology Act.
5 ONLINE FINANCIAL FRAUDS
1. Quest Net Scam/Multilevel marketing
The scammers make you realise that all your life you have been sad and it’s high time when you can uplift and become a ‘self-made individual’ who can easily turn his start-up idea into real within no time. They ask you to invest an amount (minimum 2.5-3.5 lakhs to be precise) and tempts you with sponsored international trips, expensive cars, lavish lifestyle.
ILLS: A scam by a Hong-Kong based company Quest Net (Qnet) has drained the hard-earned money of lakhs of innocent middle-class people PAN India within the hearing of the multi- crore scam of Qnet operating in India by the name of Vihaan Direct Selling (India) Pvt Ltd., Bombay HC observed that the motto of the corporate is camouflaged and therefore the sole intention is to fool others. It’s a sequence where an individual is fooled then he’s trained to fool others to earn money. For that purpose, workshops are conducted where study and business material is given a jugglery of words, promises and dreams. Thus, the deceit and fraud is camouflaged under the name of e-marketing and business.
2. Credit Card Fraud/ Skimming
A message pops up in your phone telling you that your telephone number or your account has won a lottery for Rs 5,00,000 and you’re required to offer bank details in order that they will deposit the cash in your account. Sometimes, we receive a call from our ‘Bank’ we’ve our account in. they struggle to realize your confidence by reciting the primary six digits and asking you to deposit the master-card monthly amount, else your account are going to be blocked. Then, they ask you to inform the OTP you receive on your number and therefore the moment you tell the OTP, your account is debited with all of your money. Scammers swipe the card through an electronic device known as a “wedge” or “skimming device” which records all information contained on the magnetic strip.
3. App based loan Companies Fraud/ Ponzi-Schemes
Most of time we discover ourselves during a situation where we are falling in need of funds, especially once we have just started earning. We are stuck during a situation where neither can we afford credit cards nor we discover it suitable to approach a near one for help. These apps appear to be a blessing in disguise when faced with such a situation. Although, there are many articles doing rounds talking about the genuineness of such apps, there are several reasons why the author regards them not only fraudulent but also a call for participation to harassment.
These apps mostly target college-going students and young professionals within the age bracket of 24-28 who have just started earning money. They supply loan for an amount ranging between Rs. 5,000 to Rs. 50,000. Investment schemes that promise to pay relatively increased rates of returns for fixed term investments. They have been fraudulent investment plans-money is not invested at all!
4. Freelance Sites Fraud/ Pyramid Schemes[i]
These frauds were prevalent in the COVID-19 lockdown period. Earn from home! Earn 8000 an hour! of these ads really make us wonder if it’s that easy to earn money online, why people commute for two hours each day for a lesser paying job. Although there are genuine sites, the traffic of ‘freelancing’ has covered the web to such an extent that it’s now become simply impossible to select out genuine ones from the fraudulent ones. The most fraudulent ones are those which involve data entry. The author found certain reviews of a site called Resumebott which has fooled several people.
5. 2nd hand product based website fraud
We all have encounter sites like drooms, olx etc. People consider buying second-hand products at an excellent bargained price than going for a fresh one. Since this market saw a boom in India, there are people that are fraudulently making a fortune out of it. ILLUS: Recently, on twitter it was published by the officials of CISF wherein some antisocial elements are putting up ads purchasable of second-hand products like car, luxury furniture at a tremendously cheaper price. These elements are using fake IDs of defense and police professionals so as to realize trust and thereby asking the people to pay 10% or 50% advance to book the merchandise.
Other financial frauds are as under:
A. Fake Prize
B. Fund Transfer
C. Advance fees scams[ii]
D. Counterfeit cards
E. Inheritance scams
F. International lottery fraud
DATA ON CYBER CRIME
[iii]Information released by Delhi Police showed that 3,430 complaints were received in May-June compared with 1,260 in January. While more than 60% of the complaints were regarding financial fraud, 20% were of online harassment. As of now, over 1,200 such cases are registered on the online portal and inquiry is under way in many cases as various social media platforms haven’t shared the relevant details.[iv]
ILLUSTRATION OF PHISHING BY TEMPTION AND CREDIT CARD SCAMS.
Before 2 months I had ordered some artistic material from a website which was suggested on my Instagram account. But I was unaware of the fact that the payment is to be made in Dollars instead in Rupees. I order the material which cost $4.5 for 2 items but at the time of payment, I didn’t received an OTP for the confirmation (in normal procedure there come s OTP on the mobile for confirmation) still the above amount was deducted from my account which had no dollars in it. The next morning I went to the bank for the Stop Payment to the receiver’s account. The bank manager asked me to fill the form for the same also asked to file a complaint in police. I filed the complaint with cyber police on www.cybercrime.gov.in.
After seven days I got a call from bank that I had got the refund in my bank account. At the same time the complaint filed with cyber-police got transferred to the local police station. As I got the money back in my account, I cancelled the complaint filed with police. The time taken by the local police to cancel the complaint was 4 days. After which I got call to be at local police station to cancel it manually. It took nearly 1 month for them just transferring the complaint.
Process of complaint if a financial fraud happens from bank to bank.
STEP 1: File a complaint/ fill a form with bank for stop payment to the receiver’s account. And file a complaint with Police on cyber crime portal or local police station
STEP 2: Bank would revert bank in 7-10 days about the refund or after investigation police would revert back.
ILLUSTRATION OF IDENTITY FRAUD
In year 2018, a teenage boy from Gurgoan posed as a girl on social media and lured a boy to urge his personal photos. Soon, he started blackmailing this boy for money which he wanted to be transferred through online payment app.
Role of Police: The case was then forwarded to the police who disguised as one of the victims to nab the boys.
The ministry of electronics and knowledge technology (MeitY) has collaborated with the Data Security Council of India (DSCI) to line up cyber forensic labs altogether metro cities for training and building awareness of cybercrime investigation. The national Information Security Education & Awareness (ISEA) programme expects to coach over one lakh people not just police personnel by 2020. These cops undergo training every 2-3 months as technology remains dynamic. He speculates that since such trainings have now been mandated, participation is bound to shoot up.
KEYPOINTS ON HOW ONE CAN PROTECT ONESELF FROM ONLINE FINANCIAL CRIMES
1. Mindset of Safety and Security: Keep all personal information, identity cards and bank cards safe at all times, Keep your PIN numbers secret.
2. Avoid giving bank details or other security information to any person or website unless verified, avoid greed of money.
3. Think before you act, Do not trust Cyberspace, Have full knowledge.
Cyber crime is not the crime of the real world, but it is of the cyber or digital world. Cyber crime is the crime between the person himself and his/her device. Praveen Sood, DGP(CID) in one of his interview dais “We are starting from zero”. Karnataka was the primary to determine a fanatical police headquarters to handle digital crime 15 years ago. Other states, including Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, have stepped up police training, including seeking out experts from industry. On an average cops receive 20 cases monthly and carry out 10 investigation (before COVID19). After COVID-19 there were 1000 complaints filed just in Delhi but police were forced to close 30% of the complaints due to insufficient content provided by the complainants and lack of unlawful content on the online platforms. Most cases pertained to e-wallet payment, debit/credit cards, and scamsters making call people to transfer money. Complaints related to stalking, provocative online content e.g. 18+ and cyber bullying.
This article is authored by: Kaushal P. Modi