It won’t be wrong to state – we are all breathing around technology. It is the new life-support that keeps humanity going. As much as we would love to live simpler, old lives, we just cannot survive without tech.
Following this transition – the cons and scams around the world have also leaped onto the smart wagon.
Statista reveals that the number of internet users worldwide stood at 4.13 billion. It means over half of the global population is on the Internet. And according to Business Insider, one in ten adults will fall victim to a scam every year in the US alone.
Despite the increasing number of online fraud, people do not take scams seriously. Or, their knowledge of the current digital mischief is not enough. Beware as you might come across a digital fraud and realize it too late.
It may disguise as constant pop-up ads to the point that you can no longer bear it. Or it could be the push-notifications on your social media profile. In some cases, constant texting from odd numbers or unknown charges frets out the user.
What is a third-party billing scam?
According to the FBI, internet-enabled theft, exploitation, and fraud were responsible for a massive $2.7 billion in financial losses in 2018. Also known as cramming, it is the type of fraud where small charges add to the bill without the subscriber’s approval, consent, disclosure, or authorization.
Such spam often remains under a facade like tax, some other fee, or a bogus service. Sometimes, it goes as less as a few cents. The crammer intends that the subscriber will overlook and pay these charges without them knowing.
Recently, many Vodafone and Telstra subscribers had to face an unfortunate case of a third-party billing scam. They got charges for airG chat service without any prior notice. The amount deducted wasn’t too much, so most users easily overlooked it. airG on the other hand, quickly took remedial action. They illustrated transparency about the process and reversed the problem. We rarely find swift service like this in the digital marketplace.
Considering you have read the blog so far, we assume you must have fallen victim to charges that were uncalled for. Perhaps your phone bill takes a hike without any significant use, or they bill you for services you never used or find yourself subscribed to services like the airG scam due to clicking on spam links or malicious ads while surfing the internet.
If yes, you should have some insights into scams.
Things to know about a scam
Scammers have become increasingly sophisticated in their attempts to steal your identity or money. It is crucial to be on the safe side and excel in your knowledge about scams by knowing the following facts:
Scams target every one
According to the Better Business Bureau, there were 30 263 scams on the Internet in 2018. And this figure has multiplied over the past two years.
It is good to be optimistic about your wise analysis of your digital activities. However, one must also stay in the info loop to know the kinds of scams prevailing in the market. For instance, CNBC reports that over 2.4 million Americans are targeted by people pretending to be from the IRS each year.
The increase in data breaches and a twist in hacking techniques makes it plausible to assume that this year would not deviate from the trend. So, besides being positive, one must know how to defend themselves against malicious entities swimming in the virtual waters.
The best protection against all the ill-minded entities is to stay well-informed. Following are a few ways to protect yourself against a scam:
Know who you’re dealing with
If you have met someone online, always do a background check. Check their credentials on Google or consult those with whom they had business before. If there is a suspicious email from a friend or a colleague, contact them directly and ask if they actually sent it. As per research by the Radicati Group, email spam ends up costing people a total of US$20.5 billion annually.
Don’t act on fishy links, texts, and calls
The email or adverts might contain links that will compromise your personal information. Sometimes, scammers may call you asking for remote access to your computer. They offer services like fixing your internet problems, free upgrades, or account settings. Don’t fall into the trap before double checking with the original service providers.
Choose passwords carefully
One must opt for passwords that are meaningful yet hard to figure for others. Ideally, it should contain a mix of upper and lower-case letters, symbols, and numbers.
Reporting scams can be fruitful
With many scams operating out there, people often believe there is no point in reporting them. They take it as a hassle that brings no reward. But, there is a different side of the story you should know. Reporting a scam to a legal agency or posting about it on social platforms can make others stay safe. Plus, the legislative authorities might take action against them.
As per the CBB research of 2016, 49 percent of reports on scams end up helping others. People learn about malicious attempts and stay away from practices that could lead to it. For example, if people were to subscribe for a text mail/message and lose their personal information, they are less likely to act if you post about it on a Facebook Group.
Scams are reversible
Assuming your lost money is gone forever, or your account is out of your range could be a huge mistake on your part. Instead, work on recovery options. You can file a report to the cybercrime cell of your country or contact the third-party service provider. They will make sure you get your lost property back or recompense in one way or the other.
Having thorough information about scams can turn the tables in your favor. It adds confidence to your digital momentum, and you know all the actions you must avoid. We hope you will put a strong defense against evils in the digital landscape. Good Luck!