68% of South Africans have encountered online scammers in past year

online scammers survey South Africa kaspersky cybersecurity

A survey by Kaspersky has showed that 68% of South African respondents and their loved ones have encountered online scammers in the last year.

The cybersecurity company published the survey findings on 19 July. It conducted it in conjunction with the Toluna research agency at the end of 2020.

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“Social media are highly integrated in our daily life and scammers just cannot miss the opportunity to reach users directly through all the popular platforms,” Senior Security Researcher, Maher Yamout, said in a statement.

“The fraudsters may find your personal data in your social media account and use it, for example with social engineering methods.”

According to the survey, 59% of the local respondents said the scheme deployed by scammers involved a request for help from a friend.

While 63% of respondents identified the scammers immediately, 30% of them needed to start a dialogue with them in order to identify them.

The survey also listed the methods that users deploy to avoid scams. At least 49% of local respondents used special security solutions such as antivirus software.

Meanwhile, 45% used Caller ID and 31% applied built-in phone functions such as number blacklists.

How to protect yourself from online scammers

At the same time, Kaspersky reminded users of how they can protect themselves against online scams.

Users should not click on suspicious links in emails or chat messages, as well as not share confidential information with third parties.

If they are unsure of a promotion or event, they can check the company’s official website or social media accounts before participating.

In addition, they can install software on their device that checks phone numbers for fraudsters.

Featured image: Unsplash/Pickawood

Read more: Instagram introduces Security Checkup tool for hacked accounts

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