#romancescams | SA to lose billions of rands from cybercrimes during COVID-19, experts warn


Cybersecurity experts say they’ve noticed a sharp increase in different cybercrimes such as carding, romance scams and compromised business emails.

In this file photo taken on 27 June 2017 a laptop displays a message after being infected by a ransomware as part of a worldwide cyberattack in Geldrop. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG – As the country continues to grapple with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, South Africans are now having to deal with a sudden surge of cybercrime.

Cybersecurity experts said that they’d noticed a sharp increase in different cybercrimes such as carding, romance scams and compromised business emails.

Cyber experts have found that criminals are exploiting the genuine hunger for news and information around COVID-19 and are tricking consumers to click on links that redirect them to fake websites, which require banking information.

These websites sometimes require consumers to download email attachments that install tracking software on their electronic devices.

Experts have also noticed that cybercriminals are requesting assistance for medical treatment, even asking for funds to buy masks and protective gear.

Cybersecurity expert Lerato Mbopane has some tips on how consumers can protect themselves.

“In 2019 alone, we lost R2.2 billion as a result of business email compromise. So, we actually anticipate that during this time, this figure will actually triple.”

Citizens are also being warned against clicking on any links when receiving suspicious SMSes or opening attachments from an unsolicited email.





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