The South African Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC) has issued an official warning to all banking clients in the country. This, after the spread of the coronavirus, forced the government to implement strict social distancing measure with a 21 day lock-down. Criminals only see this as an opportunity to scam citizens for their own gain.
Apart from going door-to-door pretending to be paramedics offering coronavirus testing, similar crimes are also being committed online. For example, spoof e-mails offering products such as masks, or fake offerings of vaccines, leading to phishing websites. These emails come from seemingly realistic and reputable companies which manipulate people into clicking on links. Cyber-criminals are also using SMS phishing, more commonly known as SMishing, to trick victims into clicking on a link disguised as information on a coronavirus outbreak in their area to steal their credentials.
Once criminals have the correct level of confidential information about a victims bank account, they can impersonate the victim and transact using the correct credentials but without authority.
Please be vigilant when processing payments where changes related to bank accounts are requested via email. Cyber-criminals know the weakest link in the information security chain is the human being. Although some spoofed emails can be difficult to identify its best to be careful when clicking on any link, even if the email looks legitimate.
Source: Santam Ins Co Ltd