The country ended 2021 with 4 million such frauds
Every week we come across new digital scams. The ingenuity of criminals to exploit weaknesses and deceive people in order to gain personal data and financial benefits knows no bounds.
As much as we warn about the care that must be taken with data, phone calls, application messages and emails with questionable links, the number of scams continues to grow. According to consultancy ClearSale, comparing the first quarter of this year to that of 2021, there was a 23.6% increase in scams involving online purchases.
In fraud in general, Brazil ended 2021, according to Serasa Experian’s attempted fraud indicator, with more than 4 million digital scams. Each year, this number grows by around 20% (in 2020, 3.5 million digital frauds were recorded).
According to Francisco Gomes Júnior, president of the ADDP (Association for the Defense of Personal Data and Consumers), certain types of scams continue to increase, with a large number of victims. “This is the case of phishing, which is the obtaining of data when the victim clicks on a malicious link or the scam of the false advantage (job offer or loan), in addition to false messages by chat application . These are known and avoidable scams, but people often fall into the trap of being distracted or impulsive.
A phishing scam involves having someone click on a link that installs a malicious program on the device that can read or extract personal data. And while everyone knows not to click on fraudulent links, the scam is perfected. These are links communicating that the person has been drawn and won a grand prize, that a benefit or social aid has been granted, or that an atypical movement has been detected on their current account. “These are links to various situations that can arouse interest and cause, in a thoughtless act, to click to see what it is all about. If you click, your data is at risk,” warns Gomes Júnior.
The fake benefits scam occurs, in most cases, due to the economic vulnerability of the victim, who receives a message with an attractive job offer, for example. The proposal provides for good remuneration, the possibility of working from home and without a fixed schedule. When making contact expressing interest in the position, the person is seduced by the vacancy to be made available for immediate start, simply by making the deposit of the amount referring to the registration for the vacancy. “Obviously, there is no job offer and the victim loses the amount she advances. In this same type of scam are deductible payday loans, where the granting of credit to an account is communicated by the payment of a membership fee, ”explains the specialist.
False messages, on the other hand, are those that the victim usually receives from a relative or a friend who informs him that he has changed his phone number. You are asked to write down the new number and from there you start chatting through it. The conversations develop until reaching the dialogue in which it will be asserted that you need to make a payment urgently, and for some reason you are not able to pass it through the bank itself. The victim is then invited to make a transfer, claiming that the amount will be returned to him shortly.
“The traits are familiar, but constantly being refined. Faced with a warning of attempted fraud on their bank account, many click on the link provided to see what it is, as well as if the person is unemployed, a good job offer can be very interesting. The fraudster is always looking for a weak point, an attraction that causes the victim to reduce their level of attention and adopt, on a whim, an attitude that, if they thought about it calmly, they would certainly avoid, ”adds the lawyer .
This is why the specialist warns: “The rule is clear: never neglect basic care. Do not believe in unusual prices, enticing offers, jobs that fall from the sky, alarming bank statements. Before acting on a whim, do a security check on the message received. Prevention is better than cure,” concludes Gomes.
Francisco Gomes Júnior – Partner at OGF Advogados. President of the Association for the Defense of Personal and Consumer Data (ADDP). Author of the book Justice Sans Limites.