Research done by TransUnion tells us a lot of revealing facts about the extent at which online scams are taking place in India. The research shows that the number of fault attempts and cases rose by 28.3% from March 2020 to March 2021. The research is proprietary in nature and provides us with a detailed sheet of what kind of scams are being undertaken by the scammers in the country.
India also houses a lot of scammers looking to find targets all over the world. According to the research, there was a 224% increase in suspected fraud attempts, the sources of which were traced to India. This was witnessed in the logistics sector. Logistics includes shipping and delivery of packages. One method of scamming used was that packages got intercepted before they reached their rightful owners. Another method tracked the users’ information and sent them a fake package and directed the real goods to the scammer’s given address.
The increase in these numbers can also be attributed to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic since online shopping has become an essential part of many households.
Credit card data frauds also tripled in the pandemic with numerous people all around the world were shocked when their accounts suddenly showed them transactions they never made. This was also coupled with identity thefts where scammers were pretending to be someone else including providing forged government documents to scam unknowing customers on websites like Olx and Quikr. Identity frauds were also up by 89% from 2020 to 2021.
The data collected by TransUnion is very comprehensive in nature spanning over a billion transactions and 40,000 websites facilitating these transactions. While the data only looks at fraud attempts it was easy to presume the increased numbers due to the ongoing pandemic.
The alarming concern to be kept in mind here is that pandemic restrictions have relaxed considerably in most parts of the world including India. Despite the easing of lockdown restrictions, the percentage of attempted scams have not gone down. This means that scammers are still able to take advantage of people through lack of technical know-how when it comes to using payment gateways such as GooglePay and PayTm. Steps have been taken to try and curb these scams but there is still a lack of awareness on how these payment gateways actually work.