Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

RSN™ Guide: A to Z of Online FraudFraud In law, fraud is intentional deception to secure unfair or unlawful gain (money or other assets), or to deprive a victim of a legal right. Fraud can violate civil law (e.g., a fraud victim may sue the fraud perpetrator to avoid the fraud or recover monetary compensation) or criminal law (e.g., a fraud perpetrator may be prosecuted and imprisoned by governmental authorities), or it may cause no loss of money, property, or legal right but still be an element of another civil or criminal wrong. The purpose of fraud may be monetary gain or other benefits, for example by obtaining a passport, travel document, or driver's license, or mortgage fraud, where the perpetrator may attempt to qualify for a mortgage by way of false statements. A fraud can also be a hoax, which is a distinct concept that involves deliberate deception without the intention of gain or of materially damaging or depriving a victim.

Most people now have access to the internet. We use our home computers, phones, and other devices to shop or bank online, keep in touch with friends and relatives, and lots of other everyday activities because we find it convenient and easy. But the same is also true of fraudsters.

With all the convenience the internet brings, it is important to be aware of potential online risks. Here are the A-Z of online fraud to help you recognize some of the most common scamsScams A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost..

A – Application FraudApplication fraud Application fraud is the unauthorized opening of a new account leveraging compromised identity information. This can be for a variety of accounts, including credit cards, retail bank accounts, consumer lending and much more. (Identity TheftIdentity Theft Identity theft is when someone uses another person's personal identifying information, without their permission, to commit fraud or other crimes. In both the U.K. and the United States it is the theft of personally identifiable information. Identity theft deliberately uses someone else's identity as a method to gain financial advantages or obtain credit and other benefits, and perhaps to cause other person's loss. The person whose identity has been stolen may suffer adverse consequences, especially if they are falsely held responsible for the perpetrator's actions. Personally identifiable information generally includes a person's name, date of birth, social security number, driver's license number, bank account or credit card numbers, PINs, electronic signatures, fingerprints, passwords, or any other information that can be used to access a person's financial resources.)

Application Fraud is when an account is opened using fake or stolen documents in your name, using the account to withdraw cash, get credit, or find other ways to defraud you. Spot the signs: You get letters or emails confirming new cards or loans you didn’t apply for. You’re paying for a subscription or Direct Debit you don’t recognize, such as a contract for a mobile phone you don’t own.

B – Banking Online And Card FraudCard Fraud Card Fraud is one of the most commonly referenced fraud definitions. It occurs when a fraudster uses a card (debit or credit) to make a purchase without the authorization of the cardholder. Card fraud can occur in-person or through digital channels.

The use of online banking or banking appsApps Applications or Apps An application (software), commonly referred to as an ‘app’ is a program on a computer, tablet, mobile phone or device. Apps are designed for specific tasks, including checking the weather, accessing the internet, looking at photos, playing media, mobile banking, etc. Many apps can access the internet if needed and can be downloaded (used) either for a price or for free. Apps are a major point of vulnerability on all devices. Some are designed to be malicious, such as logging keystrokes or activity, and others can even transport malware. Always be careful about any app you are thinking about installing. on smartphones and tablets has grown. People use them at home or when they are out and about. To stay safe while banking online you must protect your password and personal details to stop criminals from accessing your accounts. Stay safe by choosing passwords and memorable words with great care, always log out when you’ve finished and never use publically available WI-FI networks for banking.

C – Computer Software Service Frauds (Technical Support ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost.)

Fraudsters often use the names of well-known companies to commit their crime. For example, they’ll pretend to be someone from Microsoft or Apple contacting you and telling you there is a problem with your device and they can help you solve them. The criminalCriminal A criminal is any person who through a decision or act engages in a crime. This can be complicated, as many people break laws unknowingly, however, in our context, it is a person who makes a decision to engage in unlawful acts or to place themselves with others who do this. A criminal always has the ability to decide not to break the law, or if they initially engage in crime to stop doing it, but instead continues. will ask you to complete a number of actions on your computer; they may even be able to download what is known as ‘Remote Access Tool’ which gives them access to everything on your computer. To stay safe you should never allow anyone to remotely access your computer.

D – Due Diligence Or Do Your Own Research (Phishing ScamPhishing scam Scammers often use email "phishing" to hook unsuspecting fraud victims. Treat all unsolicited email and spam as suspicious: Do not open or reply. To avoid loading malicious software onto your computer or device, never click a link – even from a trusted source – unless you've verified i