A new report published by the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) revealed that criminals are increasingly targeting South African internet users with multiple scams and they should be more aware. Photo: Kacper Pempel/Reuters.

CAPE TOWN – A new report published by the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) revealed that criminals are increasingly targeting South African internet users with multiple scams and they should be more aware.

The report shows a list of multiple scams from inheritance fraud, Kidney donor charity scams, fake job scams, Online gaming scams and more. 

Career Scams

According to the FIC, scammers target young people with higher-level qualifications by offering employment and jobs on the internet that do not exist.

“At first glance, these online postings appear to be completely legitimate. The perpetrators prey on unsuspecting job seekers desperate to find better employment opportunities abroad,” the FIC said.

“Internet-based criminals use a fabricated career or job listing as a ruse to attract employment seekers and obtain their personal information.”

Information such as identity numbers, credit card information, bank account information and the curriculum vitae of the victim, the FIC said.

“Once a prospective victim has made contact via the fake online job listing, criminals notify them that a position abroad has become available.

“They then conduct a telephonic, Skype or instant message job interview. These interviews contribute to the illusion that the job offering is real. Applicants receive notices that their qualifications have been accepted and that their interview has been successful.

The FIC said it was difficult to distinguish between fraudulent and legitimate employment offerings.

“If victims believe that they have encountered a website designed to look like a legitimate website to steal personal information, they can report the matter to the Internet Service Providers Association in South Africa,” it said.

Inheritance fraud

According to the FIC, criminals contact their victims via e-mail, text messages or social media messages.

"They inform their victims that they can claim a large inheritance from, for example, a wealthy South African couple who are about to die from cancer in a hospital in Asia. Fraudsters then distribute falsified South African identity documents of fictitious people to potential victims claiming that they have left a large sum of money with the United Nations," said the FIC.

The criminals posing as lawyers to inform the victim that they will start the claims procedures on behalf of the victim. Victims are instructed to make the advance payment to facilitate the release of the funds. As part of the criminals’ deception, they collect personal information from their victims in order to perpetrate other financial crimes.

Victims will face financial loss and Identity theft.

Online Gaming Fraud

The FIC states that virtual, online role-playing games are popular ways to connect and play with other participants across the world. 

"To secure a competitive advantage at these roleplaying games, players need to purchase virtual items for their online gaming characters...Interactions between people around the globe are crucial to the player’s experience", said the FIC. 

"In many instances, criminals set up websites as shop fronts to get the attention of gamers looking to purchase in-game currency and other virtual items with real-world cash", the FIC added.

These activities can also be used to fund other illegal cybercrime activities.

If you're interested in seeing the report, you can access it here. 

– BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE