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Be on the lookout for cybercrime scams

by Surihe Gaomas-Guchu

It is often said that if something seems too good to be true, it is. This sentiment is most applicable in the world of cybercrime, especially in times like these when there are a lot of special occasions which cybercriminals can use as leverage to reel you in and defraud you.

“This is the time of year when there are a lot of special occasions in succession, occasions such as Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day etc. With that comes prize giveaways from reputable organisations, however cyber criminals also use that as a gateway to try to insert malware on your devices by sending you emails with infected content such as links and attachments,” Standard Bank’s PR and Communications Manager, Surihe Gaomas-Guchu, warned this week.

She pointed out that it is hard to keep up with all the scams that criminals come up with, however it is easier for you if you know what to look out for so you do not fall victim to scams. 

“If you win a prize and you have not entered a competition then it is a scam, the same goes for when you are requested to provide money upfront for whatever reason before the proposed transaction can take place or you are requested to confirm personal or account details via a hyperlink, icon or attachment in an email or telephonically,” she warned.

Cyber criminals often entice people to click on links; attachments or images by using appealing deals or offers. Once people click on these links/attachments, it triggers malicious software which may clients’ valuable information.

Gaomas-Guchu warned that people should be on the lookout for the following signs that a message may be FAKE:

· F- Does the communication invoke any feelings for example fear; distress or excitement (ex. E-card, special offer or overdue invoices)

· A- Are you requested to take action? (ex. Click on a link / open an attachment)

· K -Do you know the sender (verify the email sender /website)

E- Were you expecting this? (phone to verify the origin)

“If you do receive a suspicious mail, report it and remember, always think before you click,” she concluded.