Fraudulent activities through phone calls and text messages are becoming a norm worldwide. The recent disclosure by Ofcom, the telecom regulator, about 45 million calls in the UK during the last three months is a testament to this fact. People were lured into thinking that phone calls were legitimate, and they were dealing with something authentic. But it turned out that all those activities were fraud and many people were robbed of hundreds of thousands of pounds as a result.
Let me describe the incident so that you can understand the severity of the situation and why this has become a real threat for everyone.
Scam Calls and Misleading Messages
Right after the start of the summer till the end of September 2021, 45 million calls and messages were received by people in the UK. More than 2000 people who were served said that they receive the message or call at least once a week. Text messages were received by most people in the 16-34 age bracket. And the elderly people over the age of 75 were targeted through their landline calls, accounting for a whopping 61%.
Most often, scammers deceive people acting from officials working in banks and regulatory authorities. This makes them more authentic and easier to start a conversation. Now, one of the tricks the scammers come up with is that after the coronavirus restrictions are lifted, you are required to make some changes to your account. And we need some information from you to update it. Many people fall for the scam and disclose confidential information that can be used to compromise their bank and other financial accounts, like FX and stock trading.
Fraudulent Mobile Apps
It is not just the scam phone calls and messages that are being used for conning people. Mobile apps have been used to deceive people for a long time now. During and even after the COVID-19 pandemic, retail e-commerce sales have grown exponentially and the same will be the trend in the coming few years. People using their smartphones and other handheld devices for these transactions are being targeted for fraudulent activities.
In the yesteryears, there used to be several mobile apps through which anyone can change their voice and talk even as a person of a different gender. This was the start of scamming people through smartphones and now there are several ways in which people are being tricked into providing their confidential information.
The security for mobile apps needs to be ramped up everywhere. It is not just about big cities like Dubai or Abu Dhabi but also smaller cities and regions. Smartphones and other handheld devices are not used across the board and that is the reason why we have seen an increase in fraudulent activities too.
Go through the following three vital scenarios as I discuss how the security of the mobile app needs to be taken care of. And how businesses in Dubai and their customers would be better off.
1. Account Takeovers
More than 89 % of the result fraud losses are due to counter covers where a person is lured into thinking that an app is legitimate while it is used by a fraudster. The person offering the app to people uses this to gain access to their bank accounts and get other vital information to take over most of their data. Data breaches occur on a big scale too where information from hundreds of thousands of customers gets compromised.
People using banking apps are specially target and that is why they are always instruct to use strong and unique passwords. This is one way to safeguard your account and multi-factor authentication used by the app can also be a hurdle for justice. That is why an experienced app developer Dubai is highly regarded by every company so that they can get a quality app for their customers.
2. Call-Center Fraud
This can be termed as an extension of this entire block as it is one of the most used ways for fraudulent activities. People claiming to be calling from the call center of a bank ask for a one-time password (OTP) from the customer so that they can gain access to their accounts. Through the have it is now easy for any person to gain full access to it if they know the OTP. That is why people need to be extra conscious and must not give their OTP in any case.
Other information like driver’s license number or social security number is also very confidential. People who are lure into giving such information to anyone can expect to get hit by fraudulent activities very often. Customers can set up a password for customer service requests so that they are sure that the person is calling from the call center of their bank rather than from any place else.
3. Stolen Devices
We all have huge amounts of data and other smartphones and if it gets stolen or lost somehow, it can easily get into the wrong hands. Anyone with your vital information related to bank accounts or even your social media accounts can harm you.
Mobile malware is also gaining momentum as mobile apps are available on Google Play and the app store which is just for this coming purpose. You may think that you have downloaded a simple game for your children, but it will turn out to be malware and anything else. It will act as an app that will keep track of all of your activities and will gain access to your camera, SD card, etc. You can easily understand the scenario after that.
I will always advise my readers to go through the reviews of any app before installing it.
Consulting with a colleague or friend that has used that app and has extensive knowledge about mobile apps and the related security issues, can help you a lot. You can encrypt your device to block fraudsters from accessing any data in case you will lose it.
Over to you
People are dupe mainly from their money, but your valuable data is also important. It is greed and vulnerability that force people into such activities, and they lose their hard-earned money. A little patience in checking the app and whatever is being ask from you can help you in ensuring you cannot be lure into a trap.
Have you ever experienced any type of such activity in the past? And what security features or measures do you take? If you think that you can add something valuable to this blog or want to ask a question, please speak your heart out.
For any feedback too, please use the comments section below.