Introduction: With the advent of COVID-19, online shopping has become a popular way for people to shop in the last few years, cyber thugs have taken advantage and created fake websites of major e-commerce giants like D-mart and Big Basket. These websites are made to deceive viewers into disclosing their credit card information or other personal information, which cybercriminals can then utilise. In this article, we will examine the operation of these fake websites and consumer self-defence mechanisms.
How Are Cyber Thugs Using Big brand like D-mart to fool around?
Cybercriminals are fooling users by creating phishing websites that seem exactly like the real D-Mart and Big Basket websites. Cybercriminals employ strategies including sending phishing emails, texts, or links to these phoney websites. When the consumers click on these links are taken to a fake website where they are asked to share their personal and financial information. Cybercriminals can use the user’s information as soon as it is submitted by a user for malafide objectives, including identity theft, credit card fraud, or unauthorised access to the user’s accounts. Additionally, they can exploit stolen data to open phoney accounts in the user’s name and carry out illegal activities.
What Are Fake or Bogus Websites?
A fake/bogus website is designed to look resemble the original website in order to steal users’ sensitive information is known as a phishing website. Fake websites may replicate the look and feel of well-known websites, such as online retailers, financial institutions, or social media platforms, in an effort to trick users into entering their personal information, such as usernames, passwords, credit card numbers, or other sensitive data. Cybercriminals have several ways to create phoney websites, including spoofing URLs or building a website with comparable branding and design elements. To deceive people into accessing fake websites, they may also utilise pop-up advertisements, phishing emails, or social engineering strategies. The cons of asking visitors on a phoney website are intended to provide helpful information that will be utilised for criminal activities, including identity theft, financial fraud, or unauthorised access to online accounts. It’s essential to spot the signs of a fraudulent website and take the appropriate precautions to prevent being a victim of these types of scams.
What Do Cyber Criminals Do with Personal Information?
Once a victim of one of these online scams has provided their payment information, which is typically provided via debit cards, those details become the property of organised crime units, who use them in various fraudulent activities like withdrawing cash from ATMs without the owner’s permission after stealing the debit card number, etc., and cracking account passwords stored in browser caches if the user’s login information was also copied. Additionally, opening new accounts in fraudsters’ names has led to enormous financial losses over time, especially for small businesses working day and night to make ends meet because of unanticipated threats that have been brought about but are still barely controllable circumstances. As a result, if necessary, mitigation criteria have been thoroughly implemented per setup evaluation, enabling all stakeholders to benefit from large-scale businesses and the status quo.
While shopping online, keep an eye on the following:
Online shopping has grown its popularity within a short span of time and has made the shopping experience for users so convenient when shopping online, it’s crucial to be aware of any potential risks. While shopping online, be aware of the following:
- Secure website: Look for the “https” in the URL of the website to ensure that it is secure. Websites with “https” have a secure connection and are less likely to be hacked.
- Reviews and ratings: Read the reviews of the products and Ratings shared by the consumers on the website.
- Authenticity of the website: Check the website’s information and make sure it’s legitimate, be cautious sometimes the fake one looks familiar to the legitimate one.
- Payment methods: Always use secure payment modes such as PayPal or credit cards, Avoid using debit cards or wireless transfers.
- Shipping and return policies: while buying online, always check the return policies, and make sure they are clear and reasonable.
- Pop-up ads: Phishing attempts can happen through pop-up Ads, be cautious.
- Social media ads: A lot of fake advertisements have been circulated on the social media platform beware it could be a scam.
How Can Consumers Fight Fake Websites?
The good news is that there are precautions you may take to safeguard yourself against these frauds when you shop online. These hints are:
Verify the URL: Verify the URL to ensure a website is real before providing any personal or financial information. False websites sometimes employ URLs that resemble those of trustworthy websites but contain minor changes or misspellings.
A phoney website might be “amaz0n.com” or “amazon.biz,” for instance, rather than “amazon.com.”
- Keep an eye out for HTTPS: A trustworthy website and the letters “HTTPS” in the URL will have a secure connection. Any information you input on the website is encrypted and secured against hackers.
- Use reputable sources: When making an online purchase, only use well-known and recognised sources, such as established, The links in unwanted emails should not be clicked on because they frequently contain phishing scams intended to fool you into providing your personal information.
- Employ antivirus programs: Install antivirus software to identify and prevent malware and phishing attempts.
- Use secure passwords: Create strong, hard-to-guess passwords that you update frequently.
Avoid using the same password on numerous websites because doing so makes it simpler for hackers to access your data.
- Use personal information carefully: Use caution while disclosing private information online, especially on social media platforms.
Con artists can use these details to fabricate profiles or steal your identity.
- Be extra cautious when considering offers that seem too good to be true; Websites that offer substantial discounts or freebies should be avoided as they frequently operate as frauds by the con artists.
Conclusion– The D-Mart, Big-Basket, and Blinkit cyber scam was a wake-up call for consumers and businesses regarding the importance of cyber security. Many individuals suffered financial losses due to fraud, which used phoney websites and phishing emails to obtain critical information from online users. It is essential to be attentive and take precautions to secure your personal information online to shield yourself from similar scams. This entails using strong passwords, being wary of dubious emails or links, and only disclosing personal information to reliable sources. Organisations must prioritise cyber security measures to avoid future occurrences of this kind of disaster. As technology develops, individuals and organisations must keep aware and take preventative measures to safeguard themselves against cyber threats.
Author : Ms. Tanushree Saxena, Trainer, CyberPeace