Email phishing scams are a big problem in South Africa. Research has also shown that the majority of victims are being targeted. The 2015 Columinate Internet Banking SITEisfaction survey found that 55% of online banking customers have been targeted by fraud, while 12% have incurred financial losses due to criminal activity.
South Africa is the second most targeted country in the world when it comes to phishing attacks.
What is phishing?
This is criminal activity when someone sends you an email claiming to be a financial company or organisation, in order to get you to hand over sensitive information.
It may involve getting a victim to click on a link to a fake website for uploading personal details. This fake website looks almost identical to the legitimate website. In addition, email addresses used may resemble a legitimate address.
Some emails may even contain spyware attachments which can install key-logger software that records what you type on your keyboards.
How to avoid becoming a phishing victim:
- Never provide your personal details over email.
- Register for SMS notification services from your bank.
- Avoid using internet cafes for internet banking. Always make sure you enter the bank’s website address in your browser and never create shortcuts on your desktop for internet banking.
- Update antivirus and spyware software and perform regular system scans.
- Check for the padlock icon and “https” at the beginning of the banking site’s URL in your browser address bar. This ensures that the site is secure.
- Never save your internet banking password on your desktop, laptop, cell phone or any other electronic device.
- Always log off or sign out after a session.
It’s important to remember not to ever give your personal details to anyone without verifying their identity first. Keep vigilant when transacting online and stay alert of any suspicious activity.