A recent spate of social security scam cases across the country have raised concerns about the quality of security in India’s biggest economy.
A new paper by a joint team of the Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi (IIT-D), the National Council for Science Research and the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICIT) said fraudsters in India were increasingly using social media platforms and fake news sites to make their schemes go viral.
The paper, published in the International Journal of Financial Reporting, said the scams are being carried out using various online platforms such as social media, online payment services, payment processing services and other services, including mobile wallets.
“The scams are increasingly being carried by people with little or no formal education in banking and insurance matters.
They have managed to create an impression of being professionals and the government of India is unaware of the scope of their frauds,” said the report, which was written by two IIT-DelHI researchers and a senior research fellow at NICIT.
While the Indian government has made tackling these scams a priority, the IIT researchers said that the government should make efforts to address the lack of understanding among the public about the dangers posed by frauds.
“In order to prevent fraud, we need to make sure that people understand the importance of social media and online payment systems and the risks they pose,” said Prof Gopal Sood, who is a co-author of the report.
“For a large number of people, social media is their only avenue to find out what is going on in the country.
If they have not found it, they do not have a choice but to go to fraud websites.”
Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are crucial in the scambing industry.
While they have the power to post information on any topic, they also provide a platform for people to share information anonymously.
“There is a perception that social media has become a tool for people in India to post misinformation about the country,” said Dr Shreya Sengupta, co-founder of the Institute of Digital Finance.
“But, if people are not aware about the risks involved in social media or how it can be used for fraud, they will not be able to protect themselves.”‘
This is a new phenomenon’The report said the government is not doing enough to address fraud in the social media space, which is increasingly used for making fraudulent claims.
“Many people have access to social media through Facebook, Twitter and other platforms, and many are now finding out that the platforms are not as secure as they were assumed.
They are also being exposed to the risk of scams through the fake news websites,” said Sengupta.”
This is another new phenomenon in the financial services industry in India.
The people are using the platforms to get rich without any knowledge about the risk and the benefits that can come from using them,” she added.
The report was co-authored by SenguPT, Prof Rajesh Muthukumar and Dr Anup Kumar.
“The purpose of this paper is to provide a framework to address issues relating to the security of social platforms,” said MuthuKumar.
The IIT study also said that online payment platforms were not yet in a position to deal with fraudsters and protect the money of consumers.
“Currently, most people are only using online payment processing companies, which are still relatively new,” said Kumar.
While there was some evidence that online payments services are not safe from fraud, Kumar said that this is likely to change in the future.
“We are trying to address this issue, but it will take time to do so,” he said.
The researchers found that the biggest risk to the consumer from fraud in social networks is not the fraud itself but the lack to act on it.
“If people don’t take action, they are likely to be victims of social exclusion,” said Pankaj Gokhale, a professor of finance at IIT.
“They may be shunned by their friends, family members and colleagues.
They may lose out financially in various areas,” he added.