Beware of cyber crimes

Beware of strange emails that may seem legitimate but which are actually phishing scams. Photo CC Search Image.
Beware of strange emails that may seem legitimate but which are actually phishing scams. Photo CC Search Image.

SAPS warn residents about disclosing sensitive information to suspicious emails.

“Phishing” is according to SAPS, “an email-based attack when a malicious email is being sent to you with the purpose of you disclosing sensitive information about yourself or the SAPS.”

The false email looks genuine and the web pages they use may seem real as well. However, the URL in the address field can alert you whether the page you have been directed to is valid or not.

Different emails are being sent to attract the victims. Some emails might refer to your personal information that needs to be updated or validated and you are being asked to enter your username and password, after clicking on a link provided in this email.

Other emails might even ask you to enter more information, such as your full name, address, phone number and credit card numbers. By just visiting the false website and entering your username and password, the phisher might be able to gain access to more information by logging into your account.

How to deal with phishing scams

• Do not trust poorly written emails with spelling errors or incorrect grammar. Legitimate corporate companies have quality control measures in place that prevent such mistakes.

• Do not click on any links in such emails. Rather navigate directly to the website in question.

• If possible, visit the company personally or phone the customer contact centres number of their official website (remember not to trust phone numbers in a suspicious email!)

• Review your credit card and bank account statements as soon as you receive them to check for unauthorised charges. If your statement is late by more than a couple of days, call the bank to confirm your billing address and account balances.

• Be cautious about opening attachments and downloading files from emails, regardless of who sent them. These files might contain viruses or other malware that can weaken your computer’s security.

Here are important contacts that you can utilise for an anyonomous and confidential reporting: – National Operational Centre – State Security Agency – South African Police Service– South African Police Service– South African Revenue Service

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