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Cyber Crime in India: The Top 13 Scams and How to Avoid Them

Cyber Crime in India

With the vast expanse of the internet, criminals have found a new playground in which to commit their crimes. No longer are they confined to the physical world. Now, they can operate anonymously and remotely, targeting victims all over the world.

Sadly, India is not immune to this global scourge. In fact, it is one of the countries most affected by cybercrime.

The first two months of 2022 reported more cyber crime in India than the entire 2018, according to data by CERT-In (Indian Computer Emergency Response Team). CERT-In is the nodal agency to deal with cyber security threats and operates under the information technology ministry.

Cyber crime in India have witnessed a steady spike since 2018. India reported 2,08,456 incidents in 2018; 3,94,499 incidents in 2019; 11,58,208 cases in 2020; 14,02,809 cases in 2021; and 2,12,485 incidents in the first two months of 2022. The above figures show that cyber crime in India increased almost seven times in three years between 2018 and 2021, and more sharply during the pandemic.

So, what are the most common cyber crime in India? And how can you protect yourself from becoming a victim?

Here are the top 13 cybercrime scams in India, and some tips on how to avoid them.
  1. ATM Frauds:
    ATM frauds have been on the rise in India, with crooks finding new ways to cheat people out of their hard-earned money. One of the most common ways to commit ATM fraud is through “skimming”, where criminals attach devices to ATMs that capture people’s card details and PIN codes. They can then clone people’s cards and withdraw money from their accounts without them knowing.To avoid becoming a victim of ATM fraud, always be vigilant when using an ATM, especially if it looks like it has been tampered with in any way. If you spot anything suspicious, do not use the machine and report it to the bank immediately. It is also a good idea to cover your hand when entering your PIN to prevent anyone from seeing it.
  2. Credit Card Frauds:
    Credit card fraud is another type of cybercrime that is on the rise in India. There are many ways that criminals can commit credit card fraud, such as stealing people’s card details and using them to make online purchases, or taking out loans in their name.To avoid becoming a victim of credit card fraud, always keep your credit card in a safe place and don’t store your PIN anywhere on your card or in your wallet. When making online purchases, make sure you are using a secure website that has an SSL certificate. You should also never give your credit card details to anyone over the phone or online unless you are 100% sure that they are legitimate.
  3. Online Banking Frauds:
    Online banking fraud is another growing problem in India, with crooks finding new ways to hack into people’s bank accounts and steal their money. One of the most common ways to commit online banking fraud is through “phishing”, where criminals send fake emails or texts that appear to be from your bank. They will then ask you to click on a link or provide your personal or financial information, which they can use to commit fraud.To avoid becoming a victim of online banking fraud, never click on links or attachments in emails or texts from your bank, even if they appear to be legitimate. If you are ever asked to provide your personal or financial information, only do so on a secure website that has an SSL certificate. You should also never give your online banking login details to anyone.
  4. Data Breaches:
    Data breaches have become more common in recent years, with criminals finding new ways to access people’s personal and financial information. One of the most common ways to commit data breaches is through “hacking”, where criminals gain access to company or government databases and steal people’s information. They can then use this information to commit fraud or sell it on the black market.To avoid becoming a victim of data breaches, always be careful about the personal information you share online and on social media. Make sure you are only sharing information on secure websites that have an SSL certificate. You should also never click on links or attachments in emails or texts from unknown senders.
  5. Phishing:
    Phishing is a type of cyberattack where criminals send emails or text messages that appear to be from a legitimate source, such as a bank or a government agency. These messages try to trick the recipient into clicking on a link or attachment that will install malware on their device or steal their personal information.To avoid falling for a phishing attack, never click onlinks or attachments from unknown senders. If you’re not sure if an email is legitimate, contact the organization it’s purporting to be from using a phone number or email address you know to be real.
  6. Smishing:
    Smishing is a type of phishing attack where criminals send text messages instead of emails. These messages often try to trick people into giving away their personal information or clicking on links that will install malware.To avoid falling for a smishing attack, don’t respond to text messages from unknown numbers. If you’re not sure if a message is legitimate, contact the organization it’s purporting to be from using a phone number or email address you know to be real.
  7. Malware:
    Malware is a type of malicious software that can infect your device and cause serious damage. Once your device is infected with malware, criminals can gain access to your personal information, including your passwords and financial details. They can also use your device to launch attacks on other people or devices.To avoid installing malware on your device, never download software from untrustworthy sources. Always make sure you have an up-to-date antivirus program installed on your device, and don’t click on links or attachments from unknown senders.
  8. Ransomware:
    Ransomware is a type of malware that can encrypt your files and demand a ransom for the decryption key. Once your files are encrypted, you won’t be able to access them unless you pay the criminals.To avoid becoming a victim of ransomware, don’t click on links or attachments from unknown senders. Always make sure you have an up-to-date antivirus program installed on your device, and keep regular backups of your important files.
  9. Bitcoin scam:
    In a Bitcoin scam, criminals will send you an email or text message that appears to be from a legitimate source, such as a bank or government agency. They will claim that you need to send them a certain amount of Bitcoin in order to receive a payment or avoid being fined.To avoid falling for a Bitcoin scam, don’t send money to someone you don’t know. If you’re not sure if an email or text message is legitimate, contact the organization it’s purporting to be from using a phone number or email address you know to be real.
  10. Job scam:
    In a job scam, criminals will post fake job ads online and claim to be looking for employees. They will then ask for personal information, such as your name, address, and date of birth. They may also ask for your bank account details.To avoid falling for a job scam, don’t apply for jobs that you found through online ads. If you’re not sure if an ad is legitimate, contact the organization it’s purporting to be from using a phone number or email address you know to be real.
  11. Loan scam:
    In a loan scam, criminals will claim to be able to get you a loan with a low interest rate. They will then ask for personal information, such as your name, address, and date of birth. They may also ask for your bank account details.To avoid falling for a loan scam, don’t apply for loans through online ads. If you’re not sure if an ad is legitimate, contact the organization it’s purporting to be from using a phone number or email address you know to be real.
  12. Dating scam:
    In a dating scam, criminals will create fake profiles on dating websites and apps. They will then start a conversation with their victims and build up a rapport. Once they have gained the trust of their victim, they will ask for money.To avoid falling for a dating scam, don’t send money to someone you’ve met online. If you’re not sure if a person is legitimate, do a reverse image search on Google to see if their profile
  13. Online Shopping Scams:
    One of the most common cybercrime scams in India is online shopping scams. These occur when criminals set up fake websites that imitate legitimate online stores, in an attempt to trick people into buying fake or non-existent products. These sites are often very convincing, and can be very difficult to spot.To avoid falling victim to an online shopping scam, always be sure to check that any website you are buying from is legitimate. A good way to do this is to type the URL of the site into a search engine and see if there are any negative reviews or reports of scams. Always pay for online purchases using a credit card, as this will give you greater protection against fraudulent charges.

In conclusion, cyber crime in India is a serious problem and it is important to be aware of the most common scams in order to avoid them. The top 10 scams in India are: phishing, online shopping scams, credit card fraud, online banking fraud, ATM fraud, mobile phone scams, computer viruses, identity theft, and social media scams. By being aware of these scams and taking precautions, you can help protect yourself from becoming a victim of cybercrime. Contact us if you are victim so one of our advocate can assist you.

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