As per the latest The Economic Times reports, 58% of online scams that occurred in India included monetary loss. Every day some person or the other may be losing their money to online fraud activities. News of such monetary loss is a frequent presence in news channels, with the latest being that of a businessman who lost 3 Lakhs. According to The Free Press Journal, the Mumbai-based businessman received a message from an unknown number having his friend's photo as DP requesting money. Initially, he deposited money in the account provided by the fraudster. However, when the demands rose, he called the friend to cross-check, and it was only then he came to know that he had become a victim of WhatsApp DP fraud. He lodged a complaint by approaching the police.
WhatsApp DP is misused to commit crimes in many ways. People indulging in such scams can be called out, and complaints can be registered in the police station. Cyber cells are also active to attend to such complaints. The person whose DP is misused can also complain and can claim damages and compensation. A complaint can be filed with the concerned police station, with a copy sent to the area's SP/DCP and, if applicable, the police's cyber cell.
Whenever any of your acquaintances ask for money, call them directly and make sure that it is genuine. Even if it is a close friend of yours, do make a call as it hardly takes a minute or two. This way, one can ensure that the request made is genuine and thus not indulge in such scams.
No COD? Hope You Know The Website Well!
The pandemic has paved the way for many small-scale businesses, mainly happening over social media accounts. Instagram and Facebook have become the best platforms for such small-scale businesses. Supporting small businesses is a good deed, and it is advantageous at many levels. While buying things through small business social media sites, one can get personalized customer service, innovative products, a sense of pride for supporting local communities and a good relationship. However, not everything should be believed blindly. While purchasing through social media, there are various payment options. Most of them use Unified Payment Interface to make payments. However, not all small businesses consider the possibility of Cash on Delivery.
This can be due to various reasons like the customers pranking them by ordering items and later canceling them so that they have to face the loss involved in delivery charges. However, some fraudsters take it as an opportunity to rob people of their money.
A degree student, who purchased a bean bag from a shopping site on Instagram, told The Logical Indian that she saw the item while she was scrolling through the portal and the low price money caught her attention. She clicked on the link and ordered the item by paying money. After two days, when she went back to check, the site was unavailable, and the link was also disabled as she lost Rs 300.
Another degree student ordered a mobile case through a shopping site on the photo and video sharing portal. small-scale provided the tracking ID as well. However, when he tracked the item, it was not found moving, and as he got back to raise concerns, the site owner blocked him. He contacted the person with the help of his contacts and rebuked him for his irresponsible behavior. Yet, he didn't receive the item and says it's been two years and he is still waiting for it.
A married woman hailing from Kerala had ordered Kurti from a boutique's Instagram account. The boutique operates in the Ernakulam district. She didn't receive the item even after the scheduled time, and when she asked them about it, they stopped responding to her calls and texts. She publicly commented on their page, and they called her back, saying she would receive it after some time. She said she didn't want the dress, instead wanted her money back. They refused to refund. So, she and her friends called them out, after which they were forced to repay the cash. She said that when she searched in Google about the page, there were various comments on similar instances.
Supporting small businesses is the best thing a person can do to encourage budding entrepreneurs. However, one should make sure that they know very well about the person operating the page before opting for prepaid orders. Only if one knows the entrepreneur personally or has previous experiences purchasing from the social media page they can safely pay for the item before making orders. These are just three instances of thousands of cases happening across social media sites every day. Check the comment section of the shopping pages before making orders. In many cases, if people had a bad experience from their side, they are likely to comment that the page is a fake one or the business is a scam. One can also check google and seek reviews if it is a shop.
The Data Entry Job Scams
Being a student is not a fancy position to be in for everyone. Some people struggle financially during that period. Since it is a time when they haven't got a job, and the expenditure is high, students resort to part-time employment. Data entry jobs are the easiest in the lot, and not much time or skill is required. However, fraudsters took it as an opportunity to rob people of their money, time and potential.
"I have got scammed. I decided to look for a part-time job, and I got one from the internet that offered me a data entry job. They asked me to pay Rs 250 and I did. I worked for a month and did everything they asked. Just as the month was ending and it was time for my payment, I noticed that I couldn't access their site anymore and their Instagram page also disappeared," a Masters student said.
"I tried contacting them through the mail but couldn't. Later I found that other people like me have been created by these same people", she further added.
Another student also got indulged in a similar scam. She contacted them through Olx. However, before beginning the work, she understood that it was a scam, and she withdrew from it. They scared her by demanding money and saying they lodged a complaint in the police station against her name. Her father approached the police station from where the police said it was a fraud case, and many such cases are happening at present.
Before signing in for part-time jobs, one should ensure that they aren't demanding any money from you. Do not provide your account details to anyone as well. If we are cautious in such instances, the fraudsters will not be able to fool us easily.
Feeding on the money of people desperate to make a living is never a good choice. The fraudsters should have to be dealt with and punished so that no innocent soul is dragged into such scams. Cyber literacy is an important aspect, and it should be taught to children how to handle cyberspace safely. We live in the cyber world, and social media cannot be kept away to prevent people from being victims of fraud. The best thing that can be done is to increase cyber literacy. Let us all be literate netizens.