Castler Escrow

8 Tips For Avoiding Cyber Frauds

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the world has realised the necessity for e- shopping and e-banking solutions. Little have people also realised that frauds and scams with online buyers and sellers have shot up multifold.

Cyber frauds occur when criminals with technological prowess realise that there are loopholes in a digital payment system. In addition to this, cyber criminals capitalise on lack of knowledge among common folk. In fact, even celebrities are often not aware of the process of verifying a legitimate or suspicious online contact.
According to a report published by Microsoft, Indian consumers witnessed 69% monetary frauds. Additionally, 31% Indians lost money to scams. This is the highest rate of losses to consumers due to scams in the world. It is therefore important to increase awareness around the rising risk factor in online transactions, as well as to stay updated about what one can do to verify the legitimacy of unknown parties.

Tip 1: Be Careful With Passwords

Internet banking and online transaction gateways often require that you set up accounts with ‘strong passwords’ for heightened security, and for good measure. These passwords are high-stakes passwords as they open access gateways directly to your money for hackers. Make sure that your passwords reveal nothing about you, and shouldn’t relate to any of your personal details that may be reflected on social media platforms to avoid a possible cyber fraud.

Tip 2: Regularly Update Your Devices

Software and app updates include important bug fixes and new features, as well as new security measures for higher protection. Make sure you update your OS and apps regularly, and stay attentive about the expiry of your antivirus and cyberwall. If you don’t have one of these, get it immediately. Extra security hurts no one.

Tip 3: Be Wary of Internet Connections

If you use a personal Wi-Fi or LAN, make sure you add a strong password to it. The information you exchange through your internet service provider does not necessarily have encryption, and data leakages are commonplace. If you use a public Wi-Fi or public hotspot, be careful about what kind of data and information you exchange over the connection. Since public providers usually do not have passwords, their systems are much more susceptible to hacking. If and when you share your own hotspot, make sure you add a password to it so that only the people you desire are able to access the connection you create.

Tip 4: Check Site Encryption

One way of ascertaining whether a site you’re buying from or selling on is legitimate is checking its encryption. Check the beginning of a site’s URL to ensure that it begins with HTTPS and not HTTP. Some sites also depict the sign of a “lock” – this means the site follows security protocol.

Tip 5: Be Careful Of What You Share

Not all types of information should be shared on all platforms. Sensitive information such as bank account details and important passwords should only be shared via specialised file transfer sites and platforms to avoid cyber frauds.

Tip 6: Opt For Escrow

If you feel doubtful about trusting an unknown entity while buying or selling online, open a digital escrow account with them. A digital escrow account is a quick agreement-based account in which an unbiased third party helps to mediate a transaction successfully by protecting the interests of all parties involved. In a typical digital escrow transaction, the buyer transfers the payable amount to the escrow account, after which the seller delivers the goods or services to the buyer. The payment is then released to the seller according to the terms of agreement. In addition to this, each party is thoroughly verified by digital escrow providers. This eliminates the possibility of you having to deal with a scammer unknowingly.

Tip 7: Enable 2FA Authentication

Two-factor authentication refers to adding an extra layer of security to transactions. Banks, digital escrow companies, and security-focused neobanks offer this feature to maximise verification-based security for their users. The extra layer of verification could mean an additional SMS, automated verification call, or OTP-based emails or messages. Wherever possible, enable this feature.

Tip 8: Be Cautious of Phishing Attacks

Phishing means pretending to be someone you’re not, and is a common method of online scamming. Usually this method involves a pretentious email or text, along with one or more URLs attached to the message and a CTA for you to interact with it. If you do not know the sender of this message, do not click on any links. Treat them with utmost suspicion. Clicking on these links may download malicious bugs, viruses, and corrupt files that can not only harm your system significantly, but also give hackers access to sensitive and personal data on your system.

Fraud Helplines

If you’re a recent victim of fraud, you can connect with different companies and authorities in your country and area with your grievance. These authorities are equipped with high-end technology and dedicated systems teams to help identify, track, and apprehend cyber criminals. Following are the national helpline numbers for some countries that you can utilise. In addition to this, you can also take to social media platforms such as Twitter to visiblise your ill experience and spread awareness while getting your grievance addressed.

India – 155260

United States – 888.210.2308

United Kingdom – 0300 123 2040

Australia –

Canada – 1-888-495-8501

Singapore –

Germany – (030) 46644664

Switzerland –

South Africa – 0800 997 263

Mexico –

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