Intercepted email scams are increasing in South Africa

How does an intercepted email scam happen?

First, they gain unauthorized access to your email account, through spoofing, clicking unknown links etc. 

Then, they patiently monitor your email activities, waiting for the right moment to strike. 

The right moment typically is when you are in the market for a certain product or service - your guard will be down, as you would be expecting to pay someone. 

They intercept the authentic email, for say goods you ordered, and spuriously amend the authentic bank details, to their bank account. 

By the time you contact your bank, the funds have been cleared, leaving you out of pocket and violated. 


How to avoid being a victim - manage your risk

 1.Voice verify

Voice verify payment requests, requests for sensitive data, or invoice changes ― regardless of the source. Make sure you call the actual company who is supplying the goods, in other words, avoid using the contact numbers on the invoice, as these are likely to be spurious as well.

The thoroughness of the verification should be in direct proportion to the monetary value of the transaction i.e., the higher the amount you are paying, the more thorough your checking should be, before paying 


2. Anti Spoofing & Gmail and the like

Heard of the terms SPF, DKIM & DMARC?

Most people haven’t, but your IT guy certainly should know them. These are anti spoofing tools that validate the sender of the email and analyze all inbound email. 

If you use a service like Gmail it is critical you activate two-factor authentication, which significantly reduces the risk of scammers compromising your email in the first place. And of course, ensure you set strong and long passwords, which are changed regularly. 

3.Don’t Trust Unknown Sources 

Avoid clicking on links, downloads, videos etc. from unknown sources, as often this is how fraudsters gain access to your email account, unbeknownst to you. 


4.Anti-Virus Software 

Make sure you have anti-virus software installed on all your electronic devices and ensure it is updated regularly. 


5 Wi-Fi Networks

Be extremely careful when joining any Wi-Fi network. Many devices or emails are compromised when accessing unsecure Wi-Fi networks. Common examples include using free Wi-Fi offered by hotels, restaurants etc. It may be free, but how safe is it?


6 Risk Transfer 

We believe in managing your risk. We also believe in transferring risk to an insurance policy for peace of mind, as no matter how well you manage risk, things still go wrong. 

AIB Cape has insurance solutions to protect you against this type of scam. Please contact us if you are interested.

Until next time, stay scam alert and stay insured. 

AIB Cape

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