5 tips to beat cyber crooks after your cash


Cape Town – As cyber criminals target internet users for personal and financial data, it becomes more urgent and important to ensure that you stay safe online.

“There are numerous types of scams where typically you are promised a monetary prize or lump sum of money if you share your bank details, and they happen more often than you think,” said Amit Mehta, head of MasterCard Information Security in the Middle East and Africa.

The Fraud Prevention Association found that there were 3 600 cases of identity theft in 2014 and the organisation predicted as increase in that number to 4 000 by the end of 2015.

A common scam is phishing where cyber crooks send an email with a malicious attachment intended to dupe the victim into opening it and infecting a machine.

Once the payload has infected the computer, crooks are able to use it to steal online banking passwords, credit card data entered into websites and download further malware that may turn your computer into a bot, used to conduct cyber crime.

“Any legitimate organisation will never ask you to share personal information via email or online.  Always trust your instincts and protect your personal information at all times,” said Mehta.

Here are his top strategies to beat cyber crooks after your cash:

1)    Delete emails that seem suspicious or offer you something that seems too good to be true.
2)    Do a quick internet search for the email address the sender is using. Many times it will appear on websites that report scams.
3)    Never give personal information or banking details to someone you don’t know.
4)    Never send money to people you don’t know for something you never requested, legitimate companies will not ask you to do this through Western Union, Moneygram or any other money sending service even if they are in the same country.
5)    If you believe you have been a victim of a phishing attack, contact your bank or financial institution and report the incident.

Have you been a victim of cyber crime? Tell us your story by clicking here.

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