While speaking about cyberspace and cybercrimes, the end-users can be easily divided in two categories—digital natives and digital migrants. Digital natives are those who grew up with the internet, while digital migrants are mostly the older generation, who have to learn and adopt digital ways of life.
Due to this basic difference, we also assume that digital migrants are more likely to be victims of cybercrimes compared with younger generations.
However, a survey of 1,000 people, mostly from the US, shows that millennials—24 to 34 and 35 to 44—were significantly more likely to have fallen for a scam due to their higher exposure online.
Millennials Most Likely To Fall for Online Scams
While senior citizens are absolutely at risk of being targeted by scammers, a recent survey from Avast
found that the people most likely to fall for online scams are millennials, at least in the US.
"There is a common conception that millennials are the first digital natives and therefore are super tech savvy. And while that is at least partially true— younger millennials in particular were the first to grow up with the internet and therefore, as a group, tend to know more about it than Gen X or the boomers — it also means that this age group likely has spent and currently spends the most time online in more capacities," Avast says.
Generation X, or Gen X, refers to the generation born between the mid-1960s and the early-1980s.
The reason why millennials are more likely to fall for online scams compared with Gen X is because of the difference in time spent by them. More time spent online naturally opens one up to more potential scams and scammers. Millennials are also more trusting online since they are more comfortable there compared with Gen X. Millennials have been talking to strangers on the internet since elementary school and think that they know how to navigate the cyber-world.
"The problem is, of course, that scammers are always evolving and finding new ways to utilise social engineering to get what they want. It is possible that the combination of millennial comfort with the internet, plus greater time online, plus a bit of hubris all combine to make them more vulnerable to falling for online scams," Avast says.
Irrespective of your age or the generation you are referred to as, you must follow certain rules to remain safe in the cyber-world.
Here are a few things that you need to avoid online.
No Over-exposure or Sharing: Refrain from sharing each and every moment of your life on social media. This is because you never know who is keeping an eye on you. Further, strictly no sharing or uploading photos of your IDs, credit or debit cards or even your boarding pass on social media.
The same applies to personal details, like ATM card number or personal identification number (PIN) and one-time passcodes (OTPs).
Legitimate service-providers and banks never ask for personal information online or via email or over phone. So, never share your card number, card verification value (CVV), PIN or OTP, especially over the phone.
Before sharing anything online, think at least twice as to what is more important to you—safety, security and, thus, peace of mind or showing off.
Refrain from Opening or Downloading Every Attachment: Not all attachments are sent or shared with good intentions. Be careful about opening any attachments sent by anyone, either by email or on social media.
For messengers or chat apps, like WhatsApp, I would suggest that you disable auto-download entirely. This will not only save your precious data but also protect you from accumulating unwanted files on your mobile phone.
In WhatsApp, go to settings > Storage & data > Media auto-download. Select 'No media' for all types of files when using mobile data or Wi-Fi or while roaming. This allows you to decide which attachment to download and which to ignore.
Beware of Bumper Discounts in Festive Sales
With Amazon and Flipkart announcing their yearly bumper sales, it is time for every customer to stay alert and avoid buying products that are offered at much cheaper rates than the actual price. Especially, be very careful when buying from unknown or little-known sites that show bumper discounts compared to retail shops or even established e-commerce players.
An increasing number of buyers is getting duped by new websites that offer branded clothes at a much-discounted price. When you buy 'branded' clothes on such portals or apps and pay for it, you will immediately receive a confirmation message. The message would assure you that your order has been placed and will be delivered in two-three days.
However, the product never gets delivered. The website provides no contact details, and the link shared in the message for tracking does not work.
You have been duped.
An official from Delhi police told IANS that the chances of the buyer receiving her money are next to impossible in such cases. He says, "These fraudsters keep changing their locations and website names, making it difficult for the police to arrest them. We have made a few arrests too. People sometimes avoid filing first information reports (FIRs). But I would suggest that they file complaints so that police get alert and also alert the people."
"Saste ka lalach adami ko fasa deta hai. Police had arrested a techie earlier. Using fake websites selling household items, the accused duped more than 22,000 people for more than Rs70-Rs80 lakh," he added.
Here are names of fraud websites as shared by Delhi police with IANS. List of fraud websites: shartiy5.myshopify.com, shopiiee.com, white-stones.in, jollyfashion.in, fabricmaniaa.com, takesaree.com, assuredkart.in, republicsaleoffers.myshopify.com, fabricwibes.com, efinancetic.com, thefabricshome.com, thermoclassic.site, kasmira.in.
How To Report Cyberfraud?
Do report cybercrimes to the national cybercrime reporting portal http://cybercrime.gov.in
or call the toll-free national helpline number 1930. To follow on social media: Twitter (@Cyberdost), Facebook (CyberDostI4C), Instagram (cyberdostl4C), Telegram (cyberdosti4c).