Online scams: cases, treatments, and prevention

What is the internet hoax?

Generally, it is considered fraud when someone collects money from his victim, or surrenders property, by misleading that victim about the true intentions of the perpetrator of the crime.

Online fraud takes another specific form: we often talk about phishing. There is a high risk of theft of your bank details (fraudulent use of a bank card), which can be obtained in advance by e-mail or text message with a false pretense. Another method of Internet fraud is to believe in a romantic relationship to extract money from the victim.

We are also talking about spam, which refers to receiving a message at an inappropriate time for advertising, commercial or increasingly malicious purposes. These messages are often for the purpose of commercial mining and do not respect legal obligations regarding consent of malicious recipients, and SPAM may contain requests for money. Email accounts are the most targeted, but they can also be instant messages and/or social networks.

Lots of motives to abuse and defraud the victim’s trust.

Internet fraud: what are the solutions?

The first thing to do is to immediately oppose the bank and inform it of the facts and terms of the internet scam. Usually this approach makes it possible to cancel the operation (however this can be complicated), and above all to avoid the withdrawal of new funds.

The victim must then go to the gendarmerie or police station to file a complaint against X if the identity of the owner of the internet fraud is unknown. The victim of Internet fraud can also file a complaint directly with the prosecutor of the judicial court about the place of the crime or the place of residence of the perpetrator (if known). The letter must identify the victim, describe the crime, describe the harm suffered and the evidence. In order to be able to act, the victim of the internet scam must declare that he wants to file a civil case, in order to carry out the public procedure.

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The victim of the Internet fraud must act within 6 years, which begins to take effect from the day the money was paid by deceiving the perpetrator.

There are several help systems to support victims of online scams:

  • Consumer advocacy associations, located in many cities, provide victim assistance,
  • A telephone platform called Information Fills can be reached free of charge Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. at 0805.805.817. It is made up of gendarmes and police.
  • The Departments of Population Protection (DDPP), or the Directorates of the Departments of Employment, Labor, Solidarity and Population Protection (DDETSPP) provide support to victims of online fraud.

Online scams: Tips to avoid them

To avoid this, precautionary principles are in place. It is important to change your computer password regularly, it is a basic principle.

You should first consider protecting your computer from viruses and hacking by using software designed for this purpose. Thus, as soon as an order is placed online, an SMS is immediately sent to the buyer’s mobile phone, and the validation of the transaction can only be done after sending this personal code. With this security system, no fraudster can access your payment information.

In addition, since May 15, 2021, any online purchase of more than 30 euros must be verified with enhanced payer authentication. The procedure verifies that the latter is indeed the origin of the payment request, thanks to various checks (password, secret question, mobile number, voice, facial recognition or digital recognition).

It is important for you and to protect other consumers to report fraudulent behavior on the following platform: internet-signalement.gouv.fr.

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With regard to SPAM in particular, the immediate reaction is not to respond to messages whose sender is unknown or appear suspicious. It is also important to avoid opening mail and its attachments. To reduce the reception of such spam, anti-spam software can be installed to enhance the security of the computer.

Frank Mccarthy

<p class="sign">"Certified gamer. Problem solver. Internet enthusiast. Twitter scholar. Infuriatingly humble alcohol geek. Tv guru."</p>

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