Storyyogi Money safety matters # 4 – What is fraud ?

Storyyogi presents an interesting and insightful edition on “Money safety” . There are many ways where our money can be misused and we need to be aware of these bad practices so that we can be alert of these malpractices and keep our money in safe hands.

So, let’s gear up to know these types of money siphoning methods and learn to safeguard our money. Here’s an in-detail explanation on fraud. We will be covering up more topics on safety of money, following soon……

What is the meaning of a fraud?

Fraud is a misleading action purposefully carried out by the criminal with an intention of unlawful or illegal benefit from the victim.

E.g. A stranger approaches you and coaxes you to share your pocket money and lures you with an expensive gift is said to be doing a fraud. Here the stranger is a fraudster as he is carrying out the fraud or a cheater who is cheating you.

Where can a fraud occur?

If caught unaware, a fraud can occur anytime or anywhere. It can happen even when you are carrying out your daily routine work like grocery shopping. The objective of the fraudster while carrying out the fraud is to earn money through the illegal methods.

What are the types of fraud?

There are broadly two types of fraud, one type can be a virtual fraud and the other can be a non-virtual. In a virtual fraud, the fraud is committed by the fraudster virtually i.e. online. In this type of fraud, it is very difficult to trace out the fraudster as there is no evidence of his appearance or location. The virtual fraud is more common nowadays as the fraudster conceals his identity and location from where he carries out the fraud.

In the non-virtual fraud, the fraudster can be one among us or even a stranger who can misuse our information and carry out the fraud. Here the fraudster can be traced as the victim would have come in direct contact with the fraudster.

How is a fraud carried out?

In order to carry out a fraud, the fraudster must be very aware of every action and its consequences. The fraudster or cheater identifies or approaches you with a request to share some vital information or he may ask clues that will help him to get into much more facts. Then with the illegally obtained information he executes his plan to carry out the fraud. Fraud can be committed through and across many means of media including email, phone, and the most accessible platform – the Internet (for e.g. Computer crime or Internet fraud, is explained below).

For e.g. If we consider the same example of a stranger approaching you and luring you with an expensive gift but asking you to give your pocket money is one type of fraud. He may further ask you to share your dad’s bank account details again by saying that he will transfer money to your dad’s account as a toy bonanza scheme etc. Here he can come with any attractive idea to steal the money from your dad’s account through fraudulent means.

How can sharing of bank details help the fraudster to commit a fraud?

This is called as a cyber fraud or internet fraud. Here the fraudster is a tech expert. He very well knows how to enter the bank account through unlawful means. They are equipped with tools to enter the account and they can further misrepresent your dad virtually with the information obtained by you and steal all the money. The fraudster is equipped and aware of all the tools to carry out the fraud.

Hence, kids never, never, never share any important information like bank account details, ATM card details, mobile number, any information related to money to strangers or even to your close relatives or friends. You never know they would also be a victim of the fraud and the fraudster would be efficient enough to get information from them too.

What is an internet fraud or cyber fraud?

A single click on a link can cause your computer to get infected with a virus. Cybercriminals can trace your personal information and send the same through emails that may look very valid or lure you with offers or even announce of you winning a prize. This is known as “Phishing”. It is very important to be alert enough to not reply to unfamiliar emails with personal information and never click links within the email.

Another typical example can be the virtual game sites that kids play. It can be that a new person approaches to play with you or maybe he would falsely pose as your friend or cousin and asks you to accept his friend request to play with you. Since it is a virtual request you cannot see the stranger in person. You accept the request thinking it is someone whom you know and then you make a great team while playing together. Slowly, he may start gathering information from you which you are not supposed to share, like your dad’s bank account, mobile number, or email id. He may even ask to share the card details. He may even ask to click on a link and ask you share information which is very critical and lure you with some gift hampers or may be attractive deals. By doing this you are giving this “so-called” known person a free entry to your money matters. And then he is successful in carrying out the fraud.

Never befriend anyone online. If it is your friend or cousin who sends you a friend request, always verify with them. Call up or ask them when you meet in person, if they had sent you a friend request. Also never click on any unknown links, it’s just a trap laid out by fraudsters who want to steal information from you and misuse it.

What happens when a fraud is committed?

When a fraud is committed, large amount of information is stolen and misused. Ultimately the intention or result of carrying out a fraud always, is to obtain money. So, the fraudster steals all the money and it may not be an easy task to trace out the fraudster especially when the fraud is committed virtually.

So, please be aware of your actions, it’s not required to be suspicious always or doubtful about everyone. Being alert is very important and being aware of your actions is being responsible.

Never share any money related information to anyone. When accessing any website ensure that it is a safe site, consult your parents, keep them informed of any new things that you do. Always consult not conceal, that can save a lot of damage.

Keep your reach very limited online. As the biggest disadvantage of exposing too much online is to expose yourself to many masked men/ women who do not disclose their exact identity.

Be safe, be alert and be aware!

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