We cannot deny that our daily lives are very dependent on technology. This is because technology has developed rapidly and become more sophisticated over time. Especially during the pandemic, all of our activities are done online. Working, studying, shopping, banking transactions, and investing can all be done online. Even though technology has been designed to be as secure as possible, irresponsible people can still find loopholes to commit online fraud. One form of digital crime that is rampant is Scam. In this short article, we will discuss more about scams, then the types of this crime, how scammers work in committing these crimes, and how to avoid them.
What is Scam? Scam is a term to describe a fraudulent scheme to obtain money or goods or data from its target victims. In the modern technological era, scam is an attempt to get the maximum amount of funds and profits for the perpetrators of this act by committing fraud in an organized manner.
The loophole for scam crimes is the negligence and lack of scrutiny of users on the information provided. This negligence is exploited to attempt to extract personal data and valuable information or money directly and used in an irresponsible manner by the perpetrator. Types of Scams The following is an explanation of the types of scams and their explanations.
- Auction fraud.
Auction fraud is one form of scam that needs to be watched out for. The reason is, the perpetrator will try to deceive as if selling something on the auction website, which in reality the item does not exist. For example, selling invalid concert tickets at auction.
Catfish is a term for someone who creates fake online profiles to deceive victims. For example, someone who creates a fake Facebook account as if it were a relative, to view the victim’s personal information for certain purposes.
Phishing is a digital crime that aims to steal personal information and data through emails, phone calls, text messages or links that claim to be from certain agencies or parties. For example, there is an email seemingly from a bank stating that you have overdrawn or there is a transaction that you did not make. You are then asked to click on a link and verify your personal information and data. Later the fake site will record your data and can be misused.
- Donation scam.
In addition to the examples above, there are scams that are packaged in the form of donations. Donation scam is one of the scams where you claim to need financial help because your family is sick or you know someone who is sick. When making a donation, you also need to be vigilant because many people create fake accounts on donation sites to scam for money.
- Cold call scam.
Cold call scam is a form of social engineering crime used by scammers to defraud by calling and telling them that the victim’s computer has a virus and has been hacked. This is done to create fear, then the scammer will offer help for a fee that needs to be paid. Scammers offer solutions to remotely connect the victim’s computer to fix the problem or add security programs that the computer doesn’t actually need.
- Chain mail.
Chain mail is an e-mail that contains false information for the purpose of frightening, intimidating, or deceiving the recipient. The goal is to force the recipient to forward the e-mail to someone else. It’s a form of spam and in some cases is used to retrieve individual email addresses for spam. If you receive this type of email, do not forward the email and delete it.
- Online survey scam.
Sites that claim they are offering money or gift vouchers to participants who are willing to answer questions in a survey. Usually, these sites ask users to spend a long time on the website. Often, the promised money or vouchers are never paid. The main purpose of online survey scams is to obtain users’ demographic information and sell this information to spammers or other interested parties.
How scammers work
In general, scams are methods used by fraudsters to trick their victims into sending money or data that is then misused. Although this does not mean that what is conveyed in this article is 100% accurate, at least here is how scammers work in general.
- The contacts contained in the user or victim are later carried out by scammers in various ways and media. Scams can be carried out by stealing the victim’s personal data and information to break into a bank account or called phishing.
- Scammers will try to convince victims by providing information, persuasive and intimidating sentences, so that victims will believe in what will be informed next.
- The perpetrator will lure the victim to visit a certain site, call a certain number, or make contact with a party to support what was conveyed earlier.
- Make direct or indirect transaction requests and ask the victim to send on behalf of the account personally.
- The perpetrator will check, and they will promise a claim within a certain time.
- The abuser will end the call for various reasons and they cannot be contacted again.
Tips to avoid scamming
Since scamming focuses on requesting transactions and personal data, here are tips to avoid it.
a. Do not respond to emails requesting personal data.
b. Look at the page you are accessing, make sure it is verified and secure.
c. Do not share the OTP code.
d. Keep passwords and usernames of all types of accounts secret.
e. Ensure the validity of the party contacting you.
f. Always protect your personal data.
g. Be careful in clicking on links.
h. Beware of using QR codes.
i. Be vigilant in granting access approval to applications, other parties, and the like.
j. Use a licensed and legal fraud or scam checking service.