Internet frauds are on the rise and continue to be one of the downsides of seamless use of the global computer network for everything from the way we live, work and play.
In fact “Internet fraud is the most common and major crime affecting consumers online”, says Nigeria’s telecoms industry umpire, which has stepped up consumer enlightenment campaigns against the malaise.
According to the Nigerian Communications Commission’s Consumer Affairs Bureau, Internet frauds can take various approaches and make consumers suffer varying degree of losses.
The online fraud “can occur in chat rooms, email, or websites. It’s sometimes hard to tell the difference between reputable online sellers and criminals who use the Internet to rob people.”
The agency says that the fraud often refer to “the use of Internet services or software with Internet access to defraud victims or to otherwise take advantage of them, for example by stealing personal information, which can even lead to identity theft.”
In some other cases, “Internet services can be used to present fraudulent solicitations to prospective victims, to conduct fraudulent transactions, or to transmit the proceeds of fraud to financial institutions or to others connected with the scheme.”
In today’s connected world, consumers can no longer do without a wired lifestyle but the NCC Consumer Bureau advises that they can take some of the key precautions advised on the next pages to prevent falling prey to Internet fraudsters: