Friday, July 26, 2024

Cybercrime sees new heights from COVID-19

In the week following the declaration of COVID-19 being classed as a pandemic, e-commerce saw a 23% increase.

Unfortunately, with this, 22% of consumers said they were targeted by digital fraud related to COVID-19.

“In a November 2019 report from IntSights, it is estimated that organised retail crime (ORC) is now costing retailers approximately $30 billion each year,” says Security Awareness Advocate at KnowBe4, Jacqueline Jayne.

“ORC includes fraud operations, card-not-present (CNP) transactions, and a growing dark web community. In the present COVID-19 situation, there are additional scams to be aware of with cybercriminals successfully defrauding the unsuspecting paying customer with fake sites.

“The domino effects is the potential for brand damage with these fraudulent sites presenting like the real ones. It is increasingly harder for people to notice they are on a fake site, or about to click on a fake add.

“The uplift of online purchases has provided yet another opportunity for cybercriminals to take advantage of with the promise of fast delivery or the too good to be true special offers. Retails are also open to being scammed with the use of stolen credit card data being readily available on the dark web,” explains Ms Jayne.

Ms Jayne emphasises how confusing current times are, and everyone is having to deal with different procedures, with the combination of economic fear and uncertainty.

“Criminals know people are feeling this strain and are using tactics such as fake shipping delay emails, or text messages to trick people into logging in to fake e-commerce accounts, stealing credentials and taking over accounts as they go.”

Tips for retailers

For their employees:

  • Ensure all employees are aware of the broad range of cyberthreats in the retail environment through ongoing security awareness training.
  • Include all related legislation specifically PCI-DSS.
  • Support that training with an opportunity to test their learning using a variety of simulated social engineering tests.

For their customers:

  • Provide cybersecurity educational advice via the KnowBe4 website.
  • Communicate any retail-related cyber-attacks that have been reported in both the local and international markets.

Tips for customers

  • Even if you are expecting an email from a retailer, take an extra minute to check for any red flags.
  • When you are using social media or visiting websites, think before you click on any ads as they could lead to malicious websites. It is best to do online shopping from verified websites.
  • Consider getting a credit card with a minimum limit that you use to make online purchases or use to make payments over the phone.
  • Keep yourself up to date with the latest cyber attacks. Scamwatch is a great place to start:


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