Countries from where internet fraud originates and some tips to counter it
Someone we knew almost fell for a job offer in Nigeria where the salary offered was $5000 a month – all after a telephonic interview! Being a highly qualified professional who had worked in the best international organisations he believed that he could be offered a job over the telephone…! However after some checking he realised that he had been had. If intelligent people can fall for such offers you can imagine the plight of the common man.
There is no dearth of internet frauds today. A few days ago the Reserve Bank of India warned against fraudsters who offered money on the “pretext of helping in business ventures”. A little later they ask for small amounts of money for different reasons. Forged documents by way of “references” and “receipts” are produced to dupe people.
Internet fraudsters are increasingly targeting Indians as there is a lot of new wealth in India. Instances of India as a source of the frauds is also increasing, some say due to increased internet penetration and broadband availability.
Some Tips to avoid being cheated
- Be on guard against unsolicited offers
- Don’t be impressed with a fancy website as it is easy to make one
- Get the physical addresses of people and companies and verify them
- Be very cautious of sellers outside your own country
- Don’t trust a site just because it claims to be secure
- Beware of spam email as spyware often “nests” in it
- Beware of e-cards from unknown sources as these too can contain spyware
- Don’t believe that an email comes from a reputed site just because it says so
2. If you are looking for investment advise (Source)
- Don’t blindly trust investment advise coming via emails, online newsletters or websites as these writers are often paid by the companies concerned
- Don’t blindly believe the “casual” advise you come across on bulletin boards, discussion or chat forums. These too can be used for this type of fraud. False messages can be posted and often the same person could do it under multiple identities
If you want to invest in any company, it’s best that you yourself investigate each company thoroughly.
- Anyone offering you large sums of money, a lucrative job (even if it is a work-at-home opportunity) or offering to invest in your company - particularly if these offers are unsolicited. These offers often come in forged emails, purporting to come from reputed companies
- Money demands – for “airport clearance”, “VAT”, “courier charges” and the like
Countries from where the most internet scams originate (Source: ): Ukraine, Indonesia, Yugoslavia, Lithunia, Egypt, Romania, Turkey, Russia, Pakistan, Malaysia, Israel and Nigeria.
What about India and China as sources of internet fraud?
Although both countries countries have been in the news lately for the hacking skills of their populace, they are not in the top ten, and even recent figures seem to confirm this.
However, Business Week quotes figures where 31 percent of the world’s unique Web sites with malware are China-based. A BW journalist also writes on his blog that India’s share of hosting such dubious sites may have been “next to nothing” as late as 2005-06 but by the beginning of 2007 India’s share has increased to 3 percent which he feels is due to improving broadband penetration.
America leads in phishing sites of the world.
Phishing is “the criminally fraudulent process of attempting to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details, by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication” and the United States is the world leader here according to this site (2006):
While phishing is not the only way to commit internet fraud it is rather disturbing to see India at 8 percent. And these statistics are already a couple of years old. I won’t be surprised if our share has increased.
(Photo credits: The first photo of the RBI ad is by me and the second image on Phishing is from arstechnica.com)
Other articles on the Internet on this blog.