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Thousands of customers fall prey to website frauds every year
How does website fraud occur?
How to identify fake websites?
General precaution while browsing websites
With the digital India dream up and running, millions of citizens in the country now have access to the internet, thanks to smartphone penetration, cheap mobile internet, and personal computers. This has also led to an increasing affinity for internet banking and availing online financial services such as loans. But it has also led to concerns over growing cases of online frauds.
Surprised? Well, you shouldn’t be. If statistics are to be believed, innocent Indians have been duped of Rs. 615.39 crores in more than 1 lakh cases of online banking frauds from April 2009 to September 2019. Two years on, one could only imagine how substantially this number must have grown.
Amongst the most common types of such cyber frauds is fake loan website fraud. Many fake loan websites have cropped up over the years that dupe unsuspecting users into either sharing personal details or money with the fraudsters, and the latter vanishes without a trace, leaving the innocent victims wondering what went wrong!
So, how exactly do online loan frauds work through fake websites?
The answer is simple. Fraudsters first create a website that imitates the look and feel of a genuine loan website, right from the logos and design elements to even contact details. Even the URLS of the website might fool an untrained eye or a first-time visitor. For example, fraudsters might create a website called www.bajaj-finserve.co or www.bajaj-finance-loan.co.in that sounds eerily similar to the genuine website.
Next, they put unbelievable loan offers and highly lucrative-sounding loan deals on the fake website, or on fake loan apps that redirect to the website created to lure gullible customers desperate for a good loan. Because these loan offers sound so lucrative, people tend to not pay attention to the fake website’s credentials, and immediately try to avail the offer.
This act leads them to share sensitive KYC particulars such as bank account details, photographs, Aadhar ID, or more. Fraudsters might also connect with the customer to ask for an advanced loan processing fee, often giving out false promises on extremely low rates of interest or quick dispersal of the loan amount. Once the details or money have been extorted, the online fraudsters either leverage them for blackmailing or escape with the money.
As we’ve read above, online loan frauds work on the ignorance of internet users and online banking customers who are unable to distinguish fraud from genuine websites. All we need to do is learn how to identify fake websites by paying heed to the following:
The most important tip is to double-check the loan website URL. It’s unlikely that a trusted brand has any other domain name apart from the brand name itself. For example, Bajaj Finserv’s website is www.bajajfinserv.in, without any additional words in the URL. Also, it’s important to remember the brand name and its spelling. For example, if you find a letter ‘e’ added in ‘finserve’ in the website url, just exit the website. It’s FAKE!! Other red flags of a fake website include:
- Multiple dashes or symbols such as – or _
- Domain extensions like .biz, .co or .info
- Domain names that imitate the actual business name, such as Fin5erve or BajajFinservDeals
In the address bar of your web browser, look out for the ‘HTTPS’ tag. This is a secure website certification, in contrast to just HTTP, and many fake websites only have the latter. Also, look for a green padlock to the left of the website URL – an icon that indicates a ‘safe’ website. You can also click on this padlock to verify further website security details.
One of the most common giveaways of a fake website is its poor imitation of the original. Often, you will be able to spot poor English with many grammatical or spelling errors. The website might also have invasive banners and display ads that spam the user.
Lastly, always check the contact page of the website to verify its authenticity. A missing Contact page is a sure-shot giveaway. If the contact details are mentioned, such as a phone number, do call on it to verify if it's working and ask any questions you might have. You can also try the email, chat, address, or social media details to authenticate the website’s genuineness.
Over and above verifying the authenticity of a loan website, it is also important to exercise caution while browsing the Internet to avoid website frauds and other online fraudulent activities.
What to do to prevent such frauds:
• Avoid Google search to help you with Bajaj Finserv’s website URL. Bookmark our ‘Contact Us’ page for 24X7 support
• Always take loans from RBI registered financial institutions only
• Stay away from tempting loan offers on unauthorised digital lending apps and websites
• Never share sensitive information like phone no., email ID, EMI card details, bank a/c details, OTP, passwords, or images of documents like ID proof, address proof on unverified websites
• Always log on to a site by typing the correct URL in the address bar
• Always report suspicious websites or online fraudulent incidents
CAUTION: Never make any advance payments for availing loans. Bajaj Finance and its representatives never ask for any advance fees for loan processing.
For any such queries, visit https://www.bajajfinserv.in/reach-us
Stay alert, stay safe from online frauds in India.
Savdhaan Rahein. Safe Rahein.
Cautionary Note - https://www.bajajfinserv.in/cautionary-notice-new.pdf
Infosec Page - https://www.bajajfinserv.in/infosec-pages
Fraud Awareness Blog - https://www.bajajfinserv.in/insights/fraud-awareness
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