Report indicates an increase in banking fraud in Africa and Middle East region

Kaspersky didn’t provide link to full report.

Back in August, Kaspersky reported an increase in targeted phishing attacks in the African region with over 2 Million detected attacks in Q2 of 2020 in South Africa, Kenya, Egypt, Nigeria, Rwanda and Ethiopia. Now a new survey from Kaspersky conducted in conjunction with Toluna research agency in June-July 2020, shows that just under half of the users in the Middle East and Africa region (47%) faced banking fraud at least once in the first half of 2020.

According to the report, most of the bank fraud situations (83%) occurred via phone, with most of these targeted calls being received between Monday and Thursday business hours.

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It is emerging that fraudsters are seriously preparing for such calls and are actively using social engineering methods. In 37% of cases, they mentioned the correct name and surname of the person whom they called. Even more, in 21% of cases, they even knew bank card credentials of the victims.

The most common ways in which these calls were masked are as follows:

  1. Users receiving calls and being told there’s a need to confirm the data
  2. Users being told information about their banking card, or that it is blocked
  3. Users being offered loans
  4. Attempts to get a code from SMS or Card data
  5. Attempts to convince users to transfer money to a different secure account

In Kenya, we’ve seen and experienced such attempts whether via phone calls or SMS. That’s why there’s a need for banks to be more clear on modes of communication, and on creating awareness to the public on ways in which conmen could contact them.

“Financial scams continue to grow. But at the same time, unfortunately, many people still do not know how to recognise criminals and lose money as a result of simple scam schemes. In case of a phone scam it’s better to end the conversation and call the bank’s official number should there be any suspicion,” says Amin Hasbini, Head of Middle East Research Center, Global Research and Analysis Team (GReAT) at Kaspersky.

According to Kaspersky, here are some basic security tips to help you stay safe from scammers:

  • Be wary of any calls from people who claim to be bank employees
  • Do not follow dubious links from SMS or messages received in messengers
  • Never tell anyone CVV or codes from SMS or push notifications
  • In case of any suspicion, immediately hang up and call the bank yourself


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