South Africans are under significant financial pressure and criminals are taking advantage of this desperation. We all need to be more vigilant to avoid falling prey to these scammers.
According to Megan Govender, head of Forensic Services at Sanlam, consumers need to understand how these crooks operate in order to protect themselves better. This will help them identify whether a seemingly legitimate offer is too good to be true.
WHAT DO SCAMMERS WANT?
- Your Name
- Your Surname
- Your cell phone number
- Your ID
- Your address
HOW CAN THEY USE THIS INFORMATION:
Most cybercriminals want to access credit in your name. According to Govender, they try to access credit using the above data. Another trick is to impersonate you to your insurer or investment company in order to retrieve your funds or benefits.
HOW TO SPOT A SCAM:
Be wary when you see:
- An upfront request for advanced payment.
- Communication containing linguistic and grammatical errors (but not always).
- Guaranteed high or quick returns and any get rich schemes or promises.
- An email address that does not look right… Remember to be critical!
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO
- Report your suspicions to a local police station.
- Contact the business you think is being impersonated.
WORKING FROM HOME
With millions of people working from home amid the Covid-19 pandemic without the normal firewalls and security measures in place, companies and individuals are at greater risk of having their data compromised. Criminals have been working overtime to steal companies’ data by targeting these vulnerable working from home employees
“Every day, Gmail blocks more than 100 million phishing emails. In the first week of April, Google reported 18 million daily malware and phishing emails related to Covid-19. This was in addition to more than 240 million COVID-related daily spam messages,” Bayhack said.
Phishing is still one of the most effective methods that attackers use to compromise accounts and gain access to company data and resources.
“Most online users are aware of phishing emails, which often encourage you to log on to what seems to be an online banking portal or other credit facilities. The user enters their login details on the fake portal, after which the scammers use this information to raid the user’s bank account.”