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Tech News & Podcast | Africa

Cyber Security Authority Raises Alarm on Holiday Fraud Targeting Eid al-Fitr Celebrations

Amidst the approaching Eid al-Fitr celebrations, the Cyber Security Authority (CSA) has sounded the alarm on a surge in online scams. Both occasions, steeped in tradition and commerce, have become targets for malicious actors looking to exploit unsuspecting individuals..

The CSA reports a notable uptick in online fraud cases, totaling approximately GHȼ2,404,161 across 194 incidents between January and March. As festivities ramp up, the CSA emphasizes the importance of caution and vigilance in all online interactions.

The tactics employed by these cybercriminals are diverse and deceitful, posing a significant threat to individuals engaging in online activities.

Cybercriminal Tactics: Diverse Strategies Targeting Deception and Fraud

  • E-commerce Deception: Fraudsters craft counterfeit online storefronts or mimic trusted brands on social media, enticing victims with irresistible discounts. Once funds are sent, promised items never materialize, leaving buyers empty-handed.
  • Identity Theft in Disguise: Scammers exploit platforms like Google Maps, fabricating false business profiles to impersonate reputable brands. By manipulating search results, unsuspecting users are redirected to these fake listings, duped into paying for non-existent products or services.
  • Phishing Scams: Cybercriminals masquerade as love interests or businesses peddling holiday deals via deceptive emails or messages. Concealed within are malicious links or attachments aimed at infecting devices with malware or pilfering personal data.

CSA Offers Essential Guidelines to Safeguard Against Rising Holiday Scams

  • Exercise Vigilance: Approach unsolicited messages or offers with skepticism, especially if they appear too good to be true.
  • Prioritize Reputable Platforms: Stick to well-established online marketplaces or retailers with positive feedback from previous customers.
  • Verify Business Authenticity: Double-check the legitimacy of businesses by confirming contact details through official websites or trusted sources.
  • Secure Payment Practices: Insist on inspecting goods before making payments, and ensure that mobile money transactions are directed to verified shop wallets.
  • Guard Personal Information: Refrain from sharing sensitive data, such as Ghana card numbers or bank details, with unfamiliar individuals or organizations.

The CSA stresses the importance of swift reporting for cybercrimes. Individuals can contact the CSA via phone on 050 160 3111, or Email – report@csa.gov.gh to report incidents or seek guidance on online security practices.

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