Muscat: Nearly 58 per cent of people in Oman dealt with the fraudsters who were trying to steal money, card details, online credentials in 2020, according to the recent Kaspersky survey. 45 per cent of respondent’s encountered scammers themselves, 12 per cent said it was their loved ones who had interacted with criminals and the other 1 per cent marked both categories.
According to the survey, the fraudsters’ criminal attempts increased in 2020. 46 per cent of respondents consider that scammers had targeted them or their loved ones more frequently during the coronavirus pandemic and self-isolation.
Scammers exploited different ways and statements in their manipulations to reach victims. Among them were special offers such as personal protection items for sale (23 per cent) and goods that allegedly diagnose and treat coronavirus: non-existent medicines, tests and others (30 per cent). Some criminals offered to issue a special city pass during lockdown (33 per cent) or requested payment of fines allegedly for non-compliance with rules related to the fight against coronavirus (26 per cent).
“Scammers often adapt their manipulations to the current agenda. During the pandemic, some scammers tried to exploit people’s anxiety to make money in the increased demand for certain goods while others focused on citizens’ desire for freedom. No matter what kind of tricks the scammers use, users should follow the basic rules of cybersecurity,” commented Maher Yamout, Senior Security Researcher at Kaspersky.
The most popular way of protection against online scams among the respondents was to ignore messages or emails from strangers and invitations to follow suspicious links (68 per cent). Also, 12 per cent use special protection solutions (antivirus).
Kaspersky reminds all the users about basic rules of online security
Do not click on suspicious links in emails and messages in chats;
If you have found out about a particular promotion and want to participate, check the official website or official social media accounts to reassure that this company or brand is holding it;
Install a reliable security solution with up-to-date databases of phishing sites, scam and spam, such as Kaspersky Total Security;
Use different email addresses to register on various services;
Never share confidential information with third parties, including a one-time code from an SMS or push notification;
Remember: if an offer on the Internet sounds too tempting to be true, then most likely it is fake.