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Cyberfraud on the rise, police warn

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Police warned the public on Sunday that there had been an increase in various kinds of cyberfraud.

There has been a rise in complaints, especially in Nicosia related to electronic fraud, the police said.

They cited instances of communication between suppliers and customers, banking fraud, romance scams and fake websites.

Police said fraudsters will often use the name of a real supplier and change the web or email address by inserting a hyphen or a period just to alter it slightly so that people are fooled into thinking they are dealing with a legitimate company.

In other instances, fake websites are set up to buy items that people buy but never receive.

This category also includes renting an apartment abroad, with the payment of a fee, which is received by fraudsters, without the apartment ever being rented, the police said.

Also, promises of relationships with romance scams are rife online.

The perpetrators begin by requesting small sums of money to help them out of a tight spot but the demands ultimately increase with time until the victims begin to figure out they’ve been scammed.

Another scam is approaching people by email or text to invest in cryptocurrency platform with the promise of large returns.

Sending fraudulent emails or SMS which appear to have been sent by the bank and with which the customer is asked to enter the codes of his bank account for the purpose of upgrading the services, is another common scam, giving fraudsters access to the bank accounts of unsuspecting citizens.

The number one rule to avoid being scammed is to be well informed, confirm the information they receive, don’t trust everything or everyone online and look for expert advice when it comes to investments.

“The public should be aware that the bank will never ask for confirmation of personal details or codes via email or SMS and these messages should be ignored,” police said

More information and tips can be found on the website www.Cyberalert.cy

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