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Nidhi Razdan example: How to be aware of scams and frauds

By: Ahmad Kashmiri

Journalist Nidhi Razdan recently divulged that she had been a victim of a “very serious phishing attack” that resulted in her believing that she had been offered a teaching position at Harvard University. The journalist had on June 13 announced that she would be quitting NDTV to take up
the position.

Falling of a high profile media person into the trap of scammers makes the issue a focal point from various dimensions with regard to awareness, advancements of scamming and the precautions thereof.

Online scams and frauds are now so sophisticated that even smart people fall in the trap. The nomenclature of frauds and scams goes in the name of jobs, business, immigration,Charity and indeed what not? Hunters remain are always on prowl with changing colors. Always exercise care based on principles and learn the dynamics of ever changing times. Here are some of the common types of scams the scammers use to nab the their prey.

Online Fee
With the advent of internet marketing the buyers prefer purchasing goods online and the scammers find the opportunity to befool a buyer with gained tactics and ask them to deposit fee via online banking, credit or debit card or wire transfer or seek personal information for delivery of their goods in return for the goods or services or rewards which indeed they never supply. The scammers promise lucrative offers for these goods and services and make the buyer tempt.

Lottery, sweepstakes and competition scams

Another trick of scammers is by offering Lotteries where scammers use emails, SMS or the phone calling and inform the receivers that they had won lucrative lottery worth lot of money, the scammers even, to make the person believe attach the documents or Xerox of cheques of earlier winners( false) and turn the temptation of the person by showing the lottery amount in millions of dollars.

These scammers too ask the details from the so called intended receivers of such lotteries such as bank details etc. Some emails try to hypnotize the person by revealing a narrative that they had no one in this world and the narrator’s , man or woman, guardian had left behind millions of dollors behind him for the narrater and now the narrater wanted to share or handover that wealth to the ‘receiver’ giving the ‘love’ reasons. Since these scammers are trained and experienced and they write the emails in such a manner that the naïve people fall prey to their scams.

Dating and business scams

Matrimonial and business ventures are the most vulnerable phenomena where people become victim of the scammers. Scammers create fake profiles on genuine matrimonial sites and use their profiles and ask for relationships, but at the end their sole purpose is to get hold of the others persons money by asking his or her personal details. This type of scammer does not ask the money at the outset but first develops a strong online relationship by exploiting the delicate emotions and once it is assured that trust has been built then the scammer asks for money and the person at the receinig end falls prey to the scammer.

Hacking

Hacking is commonly used by scammers to trick for the access to ones computer. Scammers ‘fish’ for ones personal details by encouraging a person to click on a malicious link/software and hack the computer and take access to files and information stored on ones computer.organizaions often send phishing emails so that a person trusts them like a bank or any financial institution and ask the person to enter his account details on the fake site. Once the person provides the details the computer or the device gets hacked.

Banking, credit card and online account scams

Scammers call you over phone or send text messages or send emails telling you that there was a problem with your back account, credit or debit card or that the person was the incahrge of your account in the banck and they ask you to verify the details of the bank and that way seek the details of your credentials. Then after they use high tech methods to draw money from your bank accounts and render you repenting

Vendor scams

Another trick of scammers is to befool the small business vendors by issuing of fake bills, listings, advertisements into a business or a telephone directory. Scammers tell you to sign a form against a fee. At times scammers call the vendors that their goods( false) have been delivered and they should deposit payments in such and such account numbers.

Jobs and employment scams

This is the scam to which Nidhi Razdhan a leading former TV Anchor of NDTV fell prey to, These scams offer lucrative jobs abroad as well as work from home or they offer for high business opportunities and ask for advance investments. Scammers give promises of thousand present returns for the intended and innovative business or promise for multi-lakh Salary. They ask for advance payments to process the documents of business or the job, whatever the case may be.

Golden opportunity

In the times of shares markets business, scammers make unexpected phone calls offering single-chance cases for business or any ventures guaranteeing investment in shares, real estate, and foreign currency and convinces the victim and drains money from him and renders him penny less.

Coffin Thieves: (Charity and Medical Scams)

“Coffin thieves” the saying goes, these scammers take advantage of trouble and agony the suffering population of the world is facing, what these scammers do they use their genuine addresses and pictures and put them on internet or send via emails and exploit them and ask the people charity. Since generous people want to donate to a good cause or find an answer to a health problem. These scammers exploit recent natural disasters or crisis and play on the emotions by claiming to collect for a cause that will secure donors sympathy, for example to help sick children or the victims of the pandemics.

However, scams and scammers should not undermine the online facility and prospects of the jobs, business or other possible vistas but with knowledge and training and by studying how to access the real targets, one has to draw a line between the two to safeguard his or her interests.

The writer can reached at: ahmadkashmiri@gmail.com

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