Each year the festive season sees a peak in the number of cyberattacks, with hackers attracted by an increase in online purchases.

CAPE TOWN – A recent Global Tech Support Scam Research report conducted by Microsoft showed that users are becoming more aware of online tech scams.

According to the survey, that the number of consumers worldwide that are affected by tech scams has dropped to 63 percent this year from 68 percent in 2016.

According to Microsoft, 71 percent of the South Africans surveyed were affected by a tech support scam.

The survey shows that compared to 2016, South Africans who continued to lose money due to tech support scams are at 4 percent which a drop from 8 percent.

The survey explains that a tech support scam is a phone call, email or online interaction which appears to be from a credible company claiming that a user has a virus on their computer. 

Here is a list of the biggest scams that Business Report found in 2018:

1. Absa email phishing scam

Absa customers should be on the look-out as cyber-criminals have started taking advantage of Absa’s new logo to target the bank’s customers in an email scam across South Africa. 

In a phishing email using the banks re-branding, they are tricking users to click on a fake website. 

The scam email that is being sent to customers states that it comes from Absa CEO Maria Ramos, but comes from the email “[email protected]”.

2. Different types of ATM scams

One way that you can prevent yourself from becoming a victim is to know how these scams work.

Here is a list of ways that you can get scammed:

  • Card Trapping

Card Trapping happens through a device that is fixed to the ATM for stealing the physical card. 

  • Card Skimming

Skimming refers to the stealing of the electronic card data, enabling the criminal to counterfeit the card. Find out more when reading the full article.

3. Sassa warns of grocery voucher scam

 The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) has announced on its social media platforms that the initiative to grant all unemployed South African citizens groceries is a scam.

Sassa wrote on Twitter: “Sassa would like to warn its beneficiaries about the recent scam circulating. The below information is untrue and misleading.”

4. Adidas scam on WhatsApp

Adidas issued a statement in response to a WhatsApp scam circulating worldwide. 

The scam came in the form of a link that was being circulated via the messaging app. The link, when clicked on led to a site that claimed that Adidas is giving away 3000 pairs of shoes for its 93rd anniversary. 

5. Spar is not giving away a R4 000 shopping voucher

A scam targeted at SPAR customers is doing the rounds via WhatsApp and SMS.

The scam came in the form of a link that was being circulated via the messaging app. The link, when clicked on led to a site that claimed that Spar is giving away vouchers worth R4000 for its anniversary. 

6. Beware of new DSTV scam

An email which was sent to Business Report claiming that Multichoice is running a competition and is awarding selected lucky winners R950 000 in cash back as a reward to their customers is in fact a scam, according to Multichoice. 

7. SA crypto-investors fall victim to scam losing over $50m

Around 27‚000 cryptocurrency investors in South Africa, USA and Austrailia have been fooled by what is seen as one of the biggest Bitcoin scams.

Hawks spokesman Captain Lloyd Ramovha confirmed they will be investigating complaints against BTC Global‚ a company which asked investors to send their cryptocurrency to an online wallet address.