Half of online theft victims get money back - research

Hacker. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)
Hacker. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)

Johannesburg - Only half of the victims of online financial cybercrimes are likely to retrieve their money back, according to latest research by global security company Kaspersky Lab. 

Research from Kaspersky Lab has revealed that 52% of internet users globally who have lost money at the hands of cybercriminals have only got some, or none, of their stolen funds back.

The research revealed how costly these attacks are for internet users, and how lucrative they have become for cybercriminals.

READ: Thousands of cyber attacks target SA

On average, internet users lose $476 per attack and one-in-ten people surveyed said they lost more than $5 000.

81% of internet users said they conduct financial operations online while 44% store financial data on their connected devices.

“As more users go online to manage their finances, more cybercriminals are looking for opportunities to cash in, making it important for users to have robust Internet security in place to protect themselves and their money. Nevertheless, only 60% of internet users protect all their devices,” Kaspersky Lab said.

Attitudes to online safety could be influenced by users mistakenly thinking lost money will be automatically refunded to them. 

45% said that they assumed they will be reimbursed by banks for financial cybercrime without any problems, but as the survey shows, 52% of people affected have not had all their stolen money returned. 

READ: SA business 'unprepared' for cybercrime

“Cybercriminals are continually looking for new ways to exploit and defraud consumers and that’s why it’s important for internet users to be on their guard at all times,” said Vyacheslav Zakorzhevsky, Head of the anti-malware research team at Kaspersky Lab.

“Cybercriminals can conduct financial crimes via malware, phishing and more. Don’t assume you will always get all your money back if you become a target and funds are stolen from you. The best way to safeguard your finances online is to make sure you don’t become a victim, and for that we recommend specialist software that protects your identity and keeps sensitive data out of the hands of the cybercriminals,” he said.

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