Cyprus Mail

Uptick in scams prompts new police warning

fraud, scam, online scam, online fraud

As cybercriminals are constantly looking for ways to make money at the expense of unsuspecting victims, both individuals and organisations often fall victim to various form of fraud, police said on Saturday.

This past has not gone a day without some type of scam being reported to police, prompting them to appeal again to the public to be cautious.

In an announcement, police issued advice to internet users on how to protect themselves from the most common forms of fraud.

Actions users can take include checking their online accounts regularly as well as bank accounts and reporting any suspicious activity to the bank.

Online payments should only be made on secure sites (check URL bar for padlock and https) using secure connections (choosing mobile network instead of public Wi-Fi).

Keeping personal information safe is also paramount.

People should be careful about how much personal information they share on social networking sites as fraudsters can use information available there to craft fake identities or target users with a scam.

In addition, it is important to know that the bank will never ask for “sensitive” information such as online account credentials over the phone or email.

If you think you have given your account details to a fraudster, contact your bank immediately and always report any suspicious activity to the police, even if you are not a victim of fraud.

Lastly, if an offer sounds too good to be true, then it is almost always a scam.

The following scams are examples of how easily cybercriminals can play with people’s psychology and perceptions, according to the police.

Phishing involves defrauding people with the attacker pretending to be a reputable entity or person often via email.

Its variants include vishing that entails phishing via cold calling, and smishing that uses mobile phones as the attack platform.

Twisting involves personal data theft.

Moreover, a host of financial frauds are also at play including investment scams, invoice frauds, CEO scams/business email compromise (BEC) and fraudulent bank websites

Awareness is the best defence, according to the police.

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