Beware coronavirus scams

1 March 2020 News

SABRIC, the South African Banking Risk Information Centre, would like to warn bank clients that cybercriminals are exploiting the spread of coronavirus for their own gain using ‘coronamania’ panic to spread coronavirus scams. Coronavirus scams exploit people’s concerns for their health and safety and pressure them into being tricked using social engineering.

Social Engineering is manipulative and exploits human vulnerability because criminals know that the weakest link in the information security chain is the human being.

These new scams include spoofed emails offering products such as masks, or fake offerings of vaccines, leading to phishing websites. These emails come from seemingly realistic and reputable companies which manipulates people into clicking on links. Some of these websites prompt the user for personal information which ends up in the hands of cybercriminals.

Cybercriminals are also using SMS phishing, more commonly known as SMishing, to trick victims into clicking on a link disguised as information on a coronavirus outbreak in their area to steal their credentials. Some of these texts claim to provide free masks or pretend to be companies that have experienced delays in deliveries due to the coronavirus.

Once criminals have the correct level of confidential information about a victim’s bank account, they can impersonate the victim and transact using the correct credentials but without authority.

“Although some spoofed emails can be difficult to identify, we urge bank clients to think twice before clicking on any link, even if an email looks legitimate. Any suspicious emails should not be opened and are best deleted,” says SABRIC acting CEO, Susan Potgieter.

SABRIC urges bank clients to take note of the following tips to protect themselves from phishing and SMishing:

• Do not click on links or icons in unsolicited emails.

• Never reply to these emails. Delete them immediately.

• Do not believe the content of unsolicited emails blindly. If you are concerned about what is being alleged in the email, use your own contact details to contact the sender and confirm.

• Check that you are on the authentic/real site before entering any personal information.

• Do not click on links or icons in unsolicited SMSes.

• Do not reply to these SMSes. Delete them immediately.

• Do not believe the content of unsolicited SMSes blindly. If you are worried about what is alleged, use your own contact details to contact the sender to confirm.

• Regard urgent security alerts, offers or deals as warning signs of a hacking attempt.

For more information go to www.sabric.co.za




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