Falling prey to online scammers is easier than you might think, with scams becoming increasingly more sophisticated and less blatant than the now well-known “Nigerian prince” emails that clog our spam folders.
According to the SA Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric), reported incidents of digital banking crimes increased by 75 percent between 2017 and 2018, amounting to a total of R262.8 million lost in digital, mobile and app banking crimes last year alone.
Cyber criminals are becoming smarter in their attempts to steal and will use technology in conjunction with social engineering to try to defraud people. Here are just some of the many scams you need to be aware of, so you can start protecting yourself and your information online.
Phishing is one of the most common forms of online scams that uses email as a platform to scam people. Phishing is designed to trick you into clicking on malicious links that can result in malware being installed on your computer or device, or manipulating you into divulging login details for email, social media and bank accounts. This often takes the form of an email that looks like a legitimate and professional communication from a trustworthy source, except for a few small and easy-to-miss details that tell you it’s fake.
Vishing, or “voice phishing attacks”, occurs when fraudsters pose as bank officials or service providers in order to trick people into disclosing personal and sensitive information over the phone, giving criminals access to your bank card details, mobile banking apps and online banking profiles. Your bank will never call you and ask you to share information such as your account details, user name or passwords over the phone.