Tips to stay ahead of online fraudsters

Following the ever rising cases of online fraud and theft. It has become more important to always be aware of the tricks online fraudsters use to stay safe.
Many people have lost a lot of money simply because they did not take a caution to know the authenticity of the platform or people they are dealing with online. A number have also fallen victim to scammers who pause as genuine solution providers only to end up looting from unsuspecting victim.
But of much concern is the widespread hacking and cyber-attacks that have seen many find themselves lose their important online accounts to fraudsters. To many it ends with losing their money when hackers gain access to their important financial accounts.
According to 2020 Communication Authority of Kenya National KE-CIRT/CC Cybersecurity Report, CA in co-ordination with National Kenya Computer Incident Response Center revealed that the attacks were highly attributed to the high uptake of online usage thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Among the tack ticks used by the attackers included exploitation of vulnerabilities on systems that support remote working such as Virtual private Networks (VPN), video conferencing applications, among others.
Total cyber threats experienced in 2020 were 56,206,097 threats representing 56% higher than what was experienced the previous year between the months of July to September where 35,173,937 cyber threats had been detected.
On the other hand getting a product online has become so easy but you are asked to take great precaution before you take that number and call or give out your money as chances that you are dealing with fraudsters are high
So how can you stay ahead of this fraudsters and online scammers who pause as genuine dealers only to end up stealing from their victim?
Here are some measures to observe and precautions to take according to the latest DCI report.

Things to look out for to avoid online fraud
  1. Online groups luring jobless Kenyan youth on promises of getting them jobs within and abroad
  2. Online product vendors who disappear once payments are done in advance
  3. Online car hires that never materialize.
  4. Online cash traders (Forex Exchange)
  5. Social media sites bearing prominent people’s profiles aimed at misleading and extortion
  6. Fraudsters making random calls while posing as service providers to cause panic to unsuspecting victims, informing them of possible security breaches to their Bank and Mpesa accounts hence end up revealing their confidential particulars,
  7. Agencies/Individuals advertising non-existing Rental Houses and/or Plots for sale, who ask for deposits while faking high demands after which they lie low on the victims.

The DCI has also revealed that Pursuit of these criminals is in most instances a lengthy procedure calling for Cyber-Forensic Interventions, mostly because perpetrators use different social media/Sim Cards to contact different people, after which they block & delete their accounts upon successful transactions.
In this regard, the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) urge the public to Always and Immediately report to their nearest Police Stations any time they lose their ID Cards, Sim Cards/Mobile phones and Laptops, Personal Documents including Academic Testimonials and Driving Licenses, and to obtain Abstract Forms thereby issued.

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