Internet scams cause major financial harm to Indians, study finds

The Telenor study further found that the top three scams in India were the ‘work from home’ fraud, lottery scams, and fake bank email scam


Half the Indian users surveyed felt the responsibility to protect people from frauds lies with the government and 60% feel the responsibility lies with the website.
Half the Indian users surveyed felt the responsibility to protect people from frauds lies with the government and 60% feel the responsibility lies with the website.

New Delhi: Indian Internet users have suffered among the highest financial losses because of Internet scams, a survey by Norway-based telecom operator Telenor ASA found.

“For those surveyed who have been subject to an online scam in India, 90% have lost money and compared to neighbours, the amount of money stolen is the highest. Regionally the average financial loss per person is Rs.6.81 lakh ($9,900), but alarmingly in India the average loss was Rs.8.19 lakh ($12,000),” a statement on the study from the telco said.

Indians are also some of the most aware of such fraud.

“The study revealed that 85% of India’s internet users are familiar with the term ‘Internet Scam’ and feel open to online threats, with 63% saying they’re very concerned about online scams—a third more than those who say they’re concerned with muggings,” the statement said. “A further 57% know a friend or family member who has been scammed online,” the statement added.

The study further found that the top three scams in India were the ‘work from home’ fraud (39%), lottery scams (25%) and fake bank email scam (17%).

The ‘Work from home’ fraud refers to when users are duped into paying someone online to help them start a business but nothing materializes, or users are tricked into completing work but never receive payment.

Lottery scams are when users are asked to pay a processing fee so as to win a large sum of money. Bank email scams are those in which scammers pretend to be bank officials to acquire personal information to access the user’s funds.

On the prevention side, half the Indian users surveyed felt the responsibility to protect people lies with the government and 60% feel the responsibility lies with the website.