• Brushing, false investment and money management are top online fraud types in China.
  • The list was released by China’s Ministry of Public Security.
  • India witnessed a steady spike in cyber crimes since 2018.

We truly want to believe that the internet is a safe place but we all know that humans can become an easy target and there is little we can do about it. Online fraud involves the use of online services and software to take advantage of victims. It covers different types of cybercrime activity such as identity theft, phishing, and different hacking activities.

Recently, the Ministry of Public Security from China as released a list of the top five sources of online fraud. They are as follows-

  1. Brushing
  2. False Investment
  3. Money Management
  4. Dodgy loan scheme
  5. Impersonation of customer service

‘Brushing’, a type of e-commerce scam has topped the list. It lures the victim to make payments for goods or any shipment that was never delivered or only delivered when buyers perform certain online tasks like creating an e-commerce profile or downloading dodgy apps. Buyers may be also asked to pay more for goods.

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Using the ‘Brushing’ technique e-commerce vendors send small items which victims never ordered. Vendors also use this technique to write positive product reviews to increase visibility on e-commerce platforms.

The list is followed by false investment and money management. Scammers use false investments, promising high rates of return with little risk. This type of fraud is very much similar to pyramid schemes.

Dodgy loan schemes and impersonation of customer service operatives are the last two common online scams in China.

Chinese Ministry of Public Security has warned citizens not to fall for these online scams following with month-long anti-fraud campaign.

How common are these frauds in India?

In recent years, India has witnessed a dramatic rise in cybercrimes. Online fraud schemes and phishing scams have become prominent in India. In 2020, Telangana had the highest number of fraud offences related to online banking. In total,
India recorded 50,035 cybercrime and fraud cases in 2020, an 11.8% surge when compared to 2019.

A large number of cases were for online banking fraud, OTP frauds, credit/debit card fraud and ATM-related frauds.

Keeping numbers in mind we can assume, that India still struggles with awareness when it comes to online banking frauds. Moreover, general public awareness and campaigns can contribute to the prevention of online fraud in India.

Other than these, cybercriminals use a variety of strategies like phishing and spoofing, data breach, denial of service, malware, ransomware, and many more.

If you think you have been scammed then change all your passwords and delete suspicious software. If you observe unwanted credit card transactions, immediately call the credit card company to prevent yourself from further loss. Following these simple steps can prevent you from online scams.

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