The Rise Of Scams. How To Protect The Customer And Fintech Reputation?

The Rise Of Scams. How To Protect The Customer And Fintech Reputation?

by May 2, 2024

Australia has a reputation for being a place where every animal and insect is out to get you. That’s a massive misconception. In fact, only 66 venomous species live in Australia, while countries like Mexico and Brazil have around 80.

But over the past few decades, a dangerous new species has evolved. You can’t see it, and it could be everywhere. It lurks in the places you visit every day, and the pain doesn’t come immediately when it strikes. This species is called a cybercriminal.

Cybercriminals can trick you into handing over your money in dozens of ways. Investment scams, crypto scams, Ponzi schemes, fake websites, phishing emails, job offers, tickets, romance scams, and high-level impersonation are among the most popular. When it comes to venomous animals, they’re easy to notice. They flash in bright colors, so you know you must stay away. But what are some of the signs that you might be lured into a trap by a cybercriminal? Read on to find out.

AI Deepfake Videos

Deepfake videos are popular for investment scams. Imagine seeing Warren Buffet, the most famous investor in the world, promoting an investment scheme on a verified account. It’s incredibly hard for the average person to distinguish between a video being fake or real. By default, don’t trust any investment advice you see online – not from celebrities, especially from finance influencers. Stay away from every “trusted finance professional” online.

Fake Websites

Unless you’re a developer or pay close attention to the sites you visit, you won’t know the difference between a real and a website clone. Scammers can mirror an entire page and make it look legitimate. Then, they will market the fraudulent website by stealing the original branding, ads, and other promotional materials. Just with a simple click, hackers can find your IP address and target you with more attacks. That’s why you need to use a VPN. You might not know what a VPN does or how it works, but it’s an absolute must in your cybersecurity tool list. With one click, you’ll protect your connection and encrypt your data.

Side Hustle Jobs

Employment scams are skyrocketing. Last year, they led to $24.7 million in losses. These side-hustle scams look like they’re coming from reputable brands and offer a work-from-home opportunity. But to get started, you’ll need to pay in advance (usually in crypto), leave reviews of the website/ product, or download a program. The moment you notice such a job offer, forget the promises of earning commissions and getting paid—it’s a scam.

Ticket Scams

Ticket scams usually happen in social media groups. You didn’t manage to buy tickets for Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour and see somebody selling them on Facebook Marketplace. You don’t even think twice because somebody else might snatch them before you. The seller urges you to pay immediately because they’re already talking to 5 other interested buyers, and you get scammed. This is an actual situation that happened to more than 270 people in 2024.

Impersonation Scams

Many Australians have lost their life savings in highly sophisticated bank impersonation scams. Cybercriminals are using new technology to make phone calls look like they’re coming from the bank or send SMS messages that continue in your inbox conversation with the bank. The whole situation seems completely legitimate, which is why so many people are falling from it. The financial devastation averages $22,000, while most losses are between $40,000 and $800,000.

What happens if you get scammed?

Here’s a true story. A cybercrime victim got their Revolut business account drained for $40,000. And the company refused a refund. The whole situation is a mess since the victim was hiking on a mountain in Italy and declined a few calls from an unknown number. Then, their accountant called and notified the victim that someone was trying to access their account. The victim answered on the next call back while the hackers had full access to past transactions, account details, and verification codes. After confirming a few verification codes with the victim, they drained the entire account. After ten days, Revolut stopped trying to find the cybercriminals and refused to share the selfie used to access the account.

And this is just one of the stories online. It should be a wake-up call that you’re the only one responsible for your digital assets, and companies will not come to your aid when you need it most.

What is the country doing to fight cybercrime?

There’s a lot of pressure on the government and the private industry to protect its people from cybercrime. Here are some of the things they’re doing:

  • Cracking down fake websites: In March 2024, over 3,500 fake websites were taken down. Due to higher living costs, people are trying to make ends meet, and ASIC is stopping investment scams before they can lure in victims.
  • Name-checking technology in banks: Financial institutions are collaborating to add more thorough name-checking technology. They are also limiting payments to high-risk transactions and alerting their customers to potential scams.

 

Featured image credit: freepik