Today I received an SMS from sbiccpay.com stating that my SBI Card reward point is expiring today. the message contained a clickable to redeem the points.
Here is a screenshot of the site. They are asking not only email ID but email password and credit card CVV number and date of birth.
With these details, they can use your email, use your credit card. It is not mine but their money redemption time from my card.
We receive many such messages, emails daily. Most are scams. Yes, Most are scams. Here is a list of 9 such massive scams targetted at us on a regular basis.
1. Bogus SMS
Many such bogus SMSs with attractive offers are part of our SMS system. Many people get trapped by attractive offers and share their vital financial details.
Do not respond to any such unknown SMS when the senders are not known.
2. Phishing Emails
Emails with malware or asking you to click on the fake website. These kinds of emails are from similar-looking corporate email IDs.
Like SMS emails are also with attractive offers, with a link to a fake but similar to the original looking website.
Though this looks authentic mail, this is is a phishing email. Do not click on the link. If you think the mail is from your bank, go to the Google address bar and type the bank address.
Remember nothing which looks attractive and unreasonable exist in the real world. But fraudsters take advantage of fear and greed.
3. Fraudulent Calls
Fake calls from insurance companies or banks either offer to help or offer a cheap and quick loan. It could be also about your tax refunds. call pretending from an insurance company would inform you that your policy is matured and want important details. Bogus call from the tax department would ask you to provide bank details to deposit your refund. Unless you are alert these are tempting calls.
They ask for all kinds of personal information on call to approve the loan or to get money from expired insurance policies.
You might consider these calls as a customer and taxpayer-friendly measures.
Do not entertain any calls which ask for any of your information even your name. the caller should know whom they are calling so no need to confirm name also. If it is from the actual bank or insurance company ask them to send written communicator or email.
4. Nigeria Mails
Most of the online community is aware of it but for the sake of those who do not know.
You will receive a mail and the mailer offers to gift you millions of dollar from some African officials account.
This could be from a widow of an official or some retired officer. These emotional emails are with very attractive offers.
Do not be greedy or feel lucky. Just avoid and do not respond at all. What most you can do is to forward the mail of the Police or RBI. This will help them to make people aware of the ensuing scam.
5. Cheap Loan Mail
Cheap loan emails are another way to attract people. Many people take chance in the hope to get a cheaper loan. To make you believe they indicate a source of money as foreign fund as people are aware that in the international market money is available at cheaper than the Indian rate.
In my career of more than 25 years, I have met several of my clients who have not only received such emails but some have also dealt with such people and lost huge money.
They offer you to give huge loan and a very low rate. For that, they ask you for some advance and then some more advanced. Ultimately nothing happens.
They take advantage of your desperation for cheap money.
Common sense would tell us if their offer was true why Indian corporate houses would borrow from Indian banks at a higher rate?
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6. Lottery Scam
Scammers win when common men are greedy. The lottery scam is an age-old scam and yet very popular among the scammers. Thanks to our greed to have money without doing anything.
You get an SMS or an Email informing you about the lottery you have won. To get the money you need to pay some administrivia cost. When you pay, it’s all over. You have lost money as you will never receive lottery money. It is a lottery for them, not you.
7. Dating Sites / Online Friendship with Unknown
Friendship with the unknown on social sites like FB etc is dangerous. When this unknown friendship blossom, it could be a costly affair.
The whole objective of the fraudsters is to get money from you. Scammers typically create fake online profiles designed to lure you in. They may use a fictional name, or falsely take on the identities of real, trusted people such as military personnel, aid workers or professionals working abroad.
They express emotion for your situation or by their stories makes you emotionally charged up. They win your trust and from social sites move to private communication via email or phone.
Once they win over you emotionally money comes into the picture. They ask you for money for one or the other reason.
According to research published in the British Journal of Criminology last month, the techniques (and psychological methods) used by scammers in online romance scams are similar to those used in the domestic violence cases.
Do not send money to anyone unknown for whatever reason. Period. Do all your charity for the people and organisation known to you.
If you want to date with the unknown be ready to get financially exploited and cheated. Nothing is free in the world, specialty in the scammers’ world.
8. Online Job Scam
This is another online scam. You get a confirmed job offer from a reputed company. You are asked to pay certain administrative changes. Some of the ways these companies approach you are;
• You’re offered a job without an application, interview, or discussion with the employer.
• The company asks you to wire money or asks for your credit card information.
• You are promised high pay for not much work.
• The company asks you to pay for a credit report as part of the application process.
• You are told you have to pay for training.
• You’re asked to cash a check and forward some of the money to a third party.
• The salary details aren’t clear. If the company doesn’t pay an hourly rate or a salary, carefully investigate the details.
Look at the following attractive but bogus job offer.
9. Credit Card Fraud:
Many unsecured sites are dangerous to make payment for your online purchase. Your secured data is immediately misused by scammers to buy online.
Once I had made payment online. The site was a well-known site though. In a minute I got credit card usage SMSs from my bank. Perhaps within a minute, my card was misused for 8 to 10 times for small transactions.
All the transactions were of about US$ 8 to 10. I immediately cautioned my bank and they took action. Since all the transaction were without CVV number I was protected by insurance.
Check the site security. Usually, it should start with HTTPS. The last S is for security. Earlier websites were of HTTP protocol. There are other ways you can know whether the website is secured.
With more and more communication options suddenly, we are in the midst of many unknown people.
NEVER share your credit card details, date of birth or any Identification Number like PAN or Adhar on phone or to an unknown email.
This must be followed even if the caller is from the known company.
NEVER click on the link sent on SMS or email. This could be misleading. If you need to check type the domain address of your bank or card of the company you wish to approach.
If the email is from firstname.lastname@example.org, go online type youraxisbank.com and know whether the site is actual Axis Bank site?
They might use email@example.com. Seeing the Axis bank in the email ID makes us believe it is from the Bank.
Scammers would select similar looking domain names which are dubious. When you share the data with these sites, you lose important data which will be misused.
The following email looks like from Amazon but when you check the email ID you would know its not from Amazon.
So do not click on the link sent in the email and do not believe the email unless you verify the domain from which it has come is correct.
Knowing how you could be cheated financially is an important aspect of financial literacy. With technology and the hyper-social world, scammers are on the rise.
According to a report, millennials are more vulnerable to online scams than seniors. The research finds that “40 percent of adults age 20-29 who have reported fraud ended up losing money in a fraud case”.
Source: Federal Trade Commission
“I’m scammed almost every day. Or, if not scammed, at the very least someone tries to scam me. Usually more than once a day.” James Altucher
We all face this kind of attempts every day. Beware, remain alert is the way to save ourselves from the scammers all around us.
“People lie and scam because you are too stupid to understand it.”
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