The COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect our lives. And amidst all the existing challenges, a new threat has emerged in the form of COVID-19 online scams. 

According to the Norton Cyber Safety Insights Report, 120 million people became victims of online fraud between February 2020 and 2021.  Thousands of people worldwide have fallen for these tricks and become victims of online fraud. Cybercriminals are on the prowl for innocent netizens. They create malicious websites and even catfish people by posing as WHO officials.

These reports are unsettling. Fortunately, there are ways to protect yourself from internet fraud. Here are some ways to stay vigilant and avoid becoming a cybercrime victim.  

#1 Always verify news sources directly

To offer a false sense of authenticity, scammers often use identity theft. They pose as genuine sources and claim to be ‘trusted and authoritative.’ It is easy for an average citizen to fall for such lies. 

If you come across a source relaying any information, you should first verify that source. Visit the official website of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) to get facts about COVID-19 in India. 

#2 Do not share personal data anywhere 

Scammers can use email phishing or Google forms to extract sensitive information and commit online banking fraud. If you receive any such unsolicited requests, be cautious. 

Remember that national COVID-19 helplines, banks, and other government bodies never ask for login information, bank details, contact numbers, and addresses. So, if you get any such emails, report them as spam. 

Additional Read – Tips to Avoid Scams in Business Loans

#3 Donate carefully

Good Samaritans everywhere have launched numerous COVID-19 relief efforts. Unfortunately, fraudsters can take advantage of citizens’ goodwill and ask for donations, intending to scam people. 

Scammers impersonate non-profit organisations and government agencies to trick you into transferring money. So, if you want to donate money to the cause, directly visit the NGO’s website. Never click on random links you receive through email, WhatsApp, or Facebook. 

#4 Always check links before you click 

Google’s Safety Centre advises users to not click on random links sent in unsolicited emails. So, before you click any hyperlink, hover over it to see where it leads. If you suspect fraud, report it immediately. 

#5 Search the contents of suspicious emails on the web

Scammers and spammers aren’t known for their originality or creativity. If you receive a suspicious message or email, it is very likely the scammers have sent the same message to other people as well. 

So, paste the email’s text and embedded links into a search engine. Check the top results and see if other people have reported it. The chances are, you’ll find articles and news reports against such kinds of scams.

Additional Read – What does RBI’s New Auto-Debit Rules Mean for You?

To sum up

Remember these tips to protect yourself from online fraud, cybercrime, and malicious attacks. In these times, you must stay safe from the Coronavirus and internet scammers alike.  

The pandemic has posed several challenges for Indians. If you need quick funds for a financial emergency, Tata Capital is here to help you with easy loans at attractive interest rates and flexible repayment options.

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