Kaspersky warned yesterday that, according to a survey it had conducted, 68 percent of South African respondents highlighted that they or their loved ones had suffered from criminals via social networks. Picture: Pexels
Kaspersky warned yesterday that, according to a survey it had conducted, 68 percent of South African respondents highlighted that they or their loved ones had suffered from criminals via social networks. Picture: Pexels

Fraud in social media soars, warns Kaspersky

By BR Reporter Time of article published Jul 21, 2021

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KASPERSKY, a global cybersecurity and digital privacy company, warned yesterday that, according to a survey it had conducted, 68 percent of South African respondents highlighted that they or their loved ones had suffered from criminals via social networks.

Maher Yamout, a senior security researcher at Kaspersky, said in a statement: “Social media are highly integrated in our daily life, and scammers just cannot miss the opportunity to reach users directly through all the popular platforms. The fraudsters may find your personal data in your social media account and use it, for example, with social engineering methods. In this case, we shouldn’t forget about basic security rules. For example, it’s better to hide private data and double-check your interlocutor if he urgently asks to transfer money or open a suspicious link.”

In most cases, fraudsters had pretended to be familiar to potential victims: the manipulation scheme presented a request for help from a friend in 59 percent of cases, it said.

Kaspersky warned that users might not recognise immediately who the person on the other side of the screen is.

“Though the majority of respondents mentioned that they or their loved ones identified the scammers immediately (63 percent), 30 percent still needed to start a dialogue for doing this,” it said.

People also tried to stay safe from scammers through special apps and programs. According to the survey, at least 49 percent of local respondents use special security solutions (antivirus) to protect themselves against online scams, 45 percent installed Caller ID and 31 percent applied built-in phone functions against phone fraud.

Kaspersky reminded the public not to click on suspicious links in emails and messages in chats and never to share confidential information with third parties. If an offer on the internet sounded too good to be true, it was most likely fake.

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