The Impact of Human Behavior on Digital Security: Insights from Scammers | Anuj Krish | TEDxSurat – Video

The Impact of Human Behavior on Digital Security: Insights from Scammers | Anuj Krish | TEDxSurat – Video

In the TEDxSurat talk, Anuj Krish discusses how digital security depends on human behavior and how scammers think to exploit human vulnerabilities in online scams. He shares a personal experience where he fell victim to an online scam and emphasizes that he is not the only one, with millions of Indians falling prey to such scams. Anuj highlights the staggering amount of money India has lost to online scams and the frequency of online crimes in the country.

Anuj and his friend identified four parameters that scammers exploit to deceive people: trust, urgency, ignorance, and money/information. They also discuss the need for a role reversal in knowledge sharing, with younger generations taking the lead in educating their parents and elders about digital safety. Anuj stresses the constantly evolving nature of scams, citing the example of AI tools that can mimic voices to deceive individuals.

He also addresses the stigma around online scam victims, highlighting the need for empathy and understanding rather than blame. Anuj emphasizes the high stakes involved in online scams and urges the audience to be vigilant and aware of the tactics used by scammers.Overall, the talk serves as a wake-up call to the audience, urging them to take digital security and online scams seriously to protect themselves and their loved ones.

Watch the video by TEDxTalks

Author Video Description

Anuj has been a victim of a digital scam and that made him inquisitive to learn about it. He, along with his friend, Krish, has made several discoveries about the type of scams that are happening and how they are planted. The framework developed helps in protecting ourselves against digital scams, by being mindful of the patterns of the scammers. India is moving through a rapid phase of digitalisation. In just last few years, India already has onboarded 300 million unique users of UPI. At the same time the digital literacy in the country is relatively low as people are still getting accustomed to using mobile phones and exploring internet and social media.

The concept of digital safety will take time to be fully matured and even it does mature the modus operandi of scammers to scam people will keep changing, making this a never-ending battle. The best way to fight this menace is to spread awareness about these scams.

Krish & Anuj friends who share the same mission. They are change seekers in the world of digital safety. They are passionate about safeguarding digital lives of Indians and impacting masses with their content. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

Video Transcript

Transcriber: Ayd Asraf Reviewer: Afnan Turki Two years ago, as I was on the verge of falling asleep, my mobile phone buzzed with a notification. My heart skipped a beat as I read 80% of my credit card limit had been used.

That was surprising to me because I had hardly used my credit card that month. I frantically checked my credit card statement and I could see unfamiliar online purchases totaling $1,000. That was shocking because I had not shared my credit card or OTP with anyone.

A sickening realization dawned on me that I was scammed. So my friend here Anuj is not the only one. There are millions of Indians who fall victims to such online scams. Let us put things in context. So, you see this number? This is 5500 crores.

This is the amount of money that India lost in 2023, in online scams. As reported by Union Home Ministry and FCRF, India witnesses 23,000 cases of online crimes every day. This is roughly a thousand an hour. Do you know what is even more shocking? 74% of the people

Who lost money in online scams have not been able to recover any of it. So, considering the gravity of the situation. Me and Anuj sat one day to understand. Why scammers are so successful in deceiving human mind? We made two important revelations. The first one was around human mind in three cases.

We identified four parameters that scammers smartly use to trick human mind and scam people. Let’s go through each of them. The first parameter is trust. Trust evokes the human emotion of safety and security and brings our guards down. Scammers are notoriously famous to establish trust first and then scam you.

They do this by pretending to be someone or through a series of events. In the famous work from home scam. They entice you first with easy money by doing simple tasks like liking a YouTube video. What’s surprising about this scam is they would deposit real money in your bank account,

And they would do this a number of times till they gain your trust. Afterwards, they would make you invest in their platform on promises of high returns. But that platform will be a sham and you will lose all your money. So the second one is urgency. Urgency spikes the human emotion of anxiety

With anxiety. Human mind releases cortisol. A hormone known to cloud your thinking. A classic example of this is SEO phishing scam. In this scam, you will receive a message from your email account, pretending to be your boss and asking you to deposit money into

The client’s account. Because it is from your boss and it says it is urgent, you end up falling victim to the scam. Or at least you are on your toes. And two instances that can put you on your toes are messages from your boss and messages from your wife. The third one is ignorance. Ignorance comes from the human emotion of indifference or hesitance. It’s caused because you don’t have the complete understanding of the situation. And one of the common UPI scams. The scammer sends you a QR code in order to deposit money in your bank account.

Now, ideally, you should be asking this question that why do you have to scan anything in order to receive money? But perhaps because of the fear of appearing foolish, you are hesitant to do that and scammers take advantage of that. Remember ask questions. Dig deeper. Shine the light of curiosity on the situation.

Knowledge is your shield and ignorance scammers ally. So the fourth one is money and information. This parameter spikes the human emotion of greed. With greed, generally, optimism bias kicks in. It becomes difficult for you to question the legitimacy of the situation. One classic example of this is: lottery scam.

So in this, you may receive a message that you have won an international trip, fully paid. With euphoria kicking in, you end up sharing your credit card details to the scammers and you don’t even realize it, that you are scammed. That concludes our first revelation,

Around how scammers use these tactics to play with us. The second revelation is around the ways we have built our defense mechanisms and the flaws in them. Up till date, our parents and elders used to be the one to guide us around safety aspects. Do you remember when you were a kid

And you were told by your parents not to eat any food articles by strangers? How to tie your luggage safely while traveling. Do you get the same advice on how to transact safely online, or how to keep your social media safe? No right?

How can your elders protect you against UPI scams when UPI didn’t even exist ten years ago? Therefore, there is a role reversal that is needed. We have to do the knowledge sharing in a bottoms up approach. We have to take the lead to spread

The principles of digital safety to not just around us, but also to our parents and elders. And in spite of taking this measure. Why will the ball never be in our court? See, even after this role reversal. By the time, information reaches us, it will already be very late because the modus operandi of scams keep changing very frequently, despite changes every few months.

The classic example of this is Microsoft’s very new tool called VALL-E. It’s an AI tool which can mimic your own voice. With just three seconds of your audio sample. According to McAfee, 69% of the Indians are not able to distinguish between a real voice call and an AI voice call.

Now, if you combine both these facts, you will realize, how easy is it, for scammer, to use your own voice, from your own social media to scam you. And this is just one of the AI scams. Years ago when I was part of the online scam.

I was hesitant to even share that with my friends or family. I wondered, why was that? And it struck me, that, it was in the way we address the victims of online scams. Imagine, if your friend’s house got robbed, what would you say to him? You would probably sympathize with him,

Give him words of comfort, make sure they’re all right. But what if, they’re part of some online scam? They’re often questions asked to them. Why did you share your OTP? Did you not check the link properly? It’s as if the scam was their mistake. You somehow think less of them.

I wonder, why is there such a difference between the world of offline and online scams? Today. Standing here, we both hope and wish that none of you sitting here fall victim to any online scam. A single online scam can empty your entire bank account and strip you of your life savings.

You may never be able to get that favorite car of yours, or go to that dream vacation of yours. Or fulfill any other life aspirations that you always dreamt of. Hence, the stakes are very high and I hope we all realize it before it’s too late. Thank you.

About TEDxTalks

TEDx is an international community that organizes TED-style events anywhere and everywhere — celebrating locally-driven ideas and elevating them to a global stage. TEDx events are produced independently of TED conferences, each event curates speakers on their own, but based on TED’s format and rules.

Video “Digital Security depends on human behaviour, this is how Scammers think | Anuj Krish | TEDxSurat” was uploaded on 01/12/2024 to Youtube Channel TEDx Talks