tricks of online scammers and how to avoid them

Faced with increasingly wary internet users and the proliferation of online fraud prevention campaigns, fraudsters are becoming ever more ingenious in managing to steal money from their victims, underlines a poll by the news site MoneyVox.

It is therefore necessary to redouble our vigilance and above all to recognize the main mechanisms on which they rely to carry out their scams. Focus on the two main operating modes used and ways to avoid falling into the trap.

Read also: WITNESS. Bank fraud: “I was no longer in control”

Method #1: Bank fraud

Bank fraud consists, for the fraudster, in the direct recovery of money from the bank account of his victim, most often obtaining his bank card numbers. In most cases, it pays for purchases on an e-commerce site via his victim’s bank card (56% according to INSEE). Less often, the amount can be stolen through a payment in a physical store (10%), by transfer (9%) or by withdrawal (6%).

In 2018, around 1.26 million people were victims of bank fraud, according to INSEE. This category of fraud is the most expensive for victims: almost 29% of them result in damages over 1000 euros. However, almost 8 out of 10 people could get a refund, generally through their bank.

Method 2: deception

This time, the scammers aren’t attacking their victim’s bank account directly. There is no need for them to obtain their victim’s bank details, personal identifiers or credit card numbers. Through maneuvering, they manage to get them to pay the money into their account themselves. This is the case, for example, when you buy fake products or services that will never be delivered, or during blackmail or fake romance that induces the victim to make a transfer.

Compared to bank fraud, the number of frauds is roughly equal: 1.24 million people were their victims in 2018 according to INSEE. However, there is one notable difference: the amount of damage is often lower than that associated with a bank fraud. Here, almost a third of scams cause damage of less than €50 and only 18% of situations cause a loss of more than €1,000. On the other hand, very few victims manage to be compensated (only 6%).

How to avoid being scammed by online scammers?

The first step to avoiding online fraud is to reduce the amount of personal information that fraudsters can use, such as MoneyVox reminds him. Identity information, address, phone number, passwords… all these elements should remain as confidential as possible.

Also, it is advisable to be very vigilant in the face of requests that appear to come from publicly known organizations. Tax, banks, CAF… fraudsters do not hesitate to use these names to gain the trust of their future victim, be it by email, phone or SMS. This is called “phishing”. Fake, very similar pages may also have been created. To avoid them, it is necessary to go directly through a search engine, and not through a link included in an email or SMS.

Offers that are very attractive, for example very high returns on an investment vehicle or an extraordinary promotion, should also immediately arouse the vigilance of all consumers. This situation is usually accompanied by creating a sense of urgency, through a limited time offer, to encourage the potential victim to finish quickly, without thinking.

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