Online technology opens the doors to an entire world, where an array of information can be found at the click of a button.
However, lurking behind computer screens is an entirely new breed of villainous fiends preying on unsuspecting people. This criminal element uses elaborate schemes, the digital world is their hunting ground.
“Scams can cost people a lot money and cause a great deal of distress,” says Captain Jabulani Ncube of Newcastle SAPS Corporate Communications and Liaison Department. As online scams occur on a regular basis, Captain Ncube has supplied safety tips, to assist the community in safeguarding themselves.
Phishing and Fraud Scams
Phishing and fraud scams are where the perpetrator deceitfully obtains personal information such as passwords, identity numbers, credit card and banking details. This is usually done through calling, sending emails or cellphone messages which looks like it comes from trusted sources, such as banks or legitimate companies.
“Typically, these emails or cellphone messages request that users click on a link in the email, which will direct users to a spoofed website,” explains Captain Ncube.
A spoofed website is designed to fool users into thinking it is legitimate. It is used to obtain, verify or update contact details or other sensitive financial information.
Fraudulent emails and messages usually contain a telephone number and contact person whom you should call. Especially when claiming you could win large sums of money.
What you should do to prevent falling victim to scams and fraud:
Never respond to emails or cellphone messages appearing to be from your bank, which request your personal details. Remember no bank will ever ask you to confirm or update your account details via email.
Never provide your online ID, password or PIN to anyone and never write them down or share them. Avoid saving your Internet banking password on your desktop. Also, don’t leave your computer unattended after you have entered your Internet banking password. It is important to always log off or sign off at the end of a session.
Avoid doing Internet banking in public areas such as Internet cafés, or on any computer that can be accessed by people you do not know. Change your PIN and passwords frequently. Furthermore, Put sensible transaction limits on your accounts.
Only provide your credit card details to reputable companies.
“Members must apply precautious measures when purchasing any item online. It is advisable to conduct verification if the company is registered,” emphasises Captain Ncube.
Never send money or give credit card or online account details to anyone you do not know and trust.
By following this guideline, you can minimise the chances of being affected by digital crime.