Our ignorance to partly blame for online scams

Updated: Jan 22, 2020, 07:54 IST | The Editorial | Mumbai

Recently, a series of complaints emerged from people who were duped of thousands after placing home delivery for liquor

This picture has been used for representational purposes only
This picture has been used for representational purposes only

Online fraudsters are constantly tweaking their modus operandi, evolving with the ever-changing technology. We frequently read about people being defrauded by scamsters.

Recently, a series of complaints emerged from people who were duped of thousands after placing home delivery for liquor.

Among them was a Pune resident, who had decided to order alcohol on a dry day. He called a seller after finding the number online and was asked to share the OTP. He got suspicious for a moment, but in desperation for a bottle of beer he ignored his instinct and gave the seller the One Time Password. He lost Rs 50,777 that day

However, the fraudsters seem to be expanding the scope of scamming people. Just last week, a man lost close to R50,000 when he tried selling a furniture through an online portal. The so-called buyer tricked him into scanning a bar code he received from him. He first lost Rs 13,000 at first but was convinced by the buyer that it was a mistake. He scanned two more bar codes further losing more money, totalling Rs 48,999. By the time he realised he had been conned, it was too late.

The two incidents show that online fraudsters are truly creative and are constantly their modus operandi to lure the innocent. These also throw light on the fact that people ignore their basic instincts despite loud and clear warnings in newspapers, by banks which send SMSes reminding their customers to never share OTPs, card/bank account details  with a stranger.

Increasing cases of such scams shows we are choosing to rather remain ignorant than educating ourselves against such frauds. But that needs to stop. Heed the warnings. They are there for a reason. Keep yourself updated with daily news. And trust your instinct.

Meanwhile, for the authorities, the advise is to be at the top of your game because the scamsters are constantly evolving, changing their modus operandi.

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