While most people are alert to ‘phishing’ scams, South Africa is still the second most targeted country in the world for internet fraud and phishing attacks.
In 2013, South Africans lost over R2.2 billion according to the South African Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC).
According to Rudolph Lamprecht, chairman of the leading cybercrime warranty, Phishield: “The cyber-criminal is practiced in the art of sending out bogus emails and pop-ups that seem safe. They cleverly design them for you take the bait.
“When you ‘click’ you’re already biting at the hook. Now the pressure is on you – and your computer may have already been infected by a virus.”
Phishield said that by recognising ‘pick up’ lines in the first place, you could be saving yourself a lot of heartache and trouble.
It notes however, that its easier said than done, with 19% of South African online banking users becoming victims of online fraud and phishing attacks where financial losses occurred.
Cyber criminals use certain e-mail subject lines more often than others to acquire usernames, credit card details and passwords.
A list of the top ‘pick up’ lines according to Phishield:
- We suspect an unauthorised transaction on your account. To ensure that your account is not compromised, please click the link below and confirm your identity.
- During our regular verification of accounts, we couldn’t verify your information. Please click here to update and verify your information.
- Our records indicate that your account was overcharged. You must call us within 7 days to receive your refund.
- Your computer is infected, please change your password.
- Your account has been hacked, fill out this form and we’ll take care of you.
- Your personal information has been leaked to the internet — click this link to fix the problem.
- Pending lawsuit against you. Urgent action required.
- DEAR SIR/MADAM: I REPRESENT THE RECENTLY DEPOSED MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE FOR NODAMBIZIA, WHO HAS EMBEZZLED 30 MILLION DOLLARS FROM HIS STARVING COUNTRYMEN AND NOW NEEDS TO GET IT OUT OF THE COUNTRY…
- Congratulations, you’ve won an XBOX (holiday, plasma TV).
- Dear (insert bank name here) Customer.
- Mail delivery failed: returning message to sender.
- Undelivered Mail Returned to Sender.
- Your password will expire soon.
- You have a pending shipment. DHL parcel not delivered (XXXXX XXXX).
- Your account has been terminated.
- Your inheritance of RXXX XXXX is waiting for you.
“Phishing attacks are simple scams that produce results for cyber criminals. Whilst you should always take every protection against them – it’s still practically impossible to protect yourself against every scam,” Lamprecht said.