The Internet is a good place to find just about any product or service, but it also poses severe risks. Earlier this month, Kaspersky Labs released a new report indicating one in two internet users had been targeted by scams. Most of these attacks were part of an attempt to obtain sensitive financial information.
Everyone who uses the Internet on a frequent basis will have noticed spam emails offering them the moon and the starts. Especially the messages which claim to offer you millions of US Dollar in exchange for your personal information should be avoided. But over time, internet criminals have become a lot smarter in their attempt to defraud users, and 11% of targeted consumers have lost money in the process.
Scams And Fraud Run Rampant
Contrary to what most people believe, Bitcoin is not a big part of these financial scams, though. Albeit 3% of survey respondents indicated they had lost Bitcoin funds in the process, the primary culprit were online scams or fraud, followed by data leakage. Additionally, losing funds through a financial organization ranks higher than Bitcoin losses as well.
The most worrying scams are fake emails allegedly coming from established financial institutions, such as banks. But there are also fake emails and messages from retail sites, and the number of phishing pages asking for financial information seems to be increasing as well.
Looking at the figures a bit more, it turns out the average loss was US$283 per person, which is quite high. But over one in five people lost over US$1,000, which goes to show how enticing and convincing some of these scams can be. Luckily, over half of the affected users managed to get their stolen funds back, albeit nearly one in four never saw a dime returned to them.
Targeting Developing Countries
It is rather surprising to see internet criminals target consumers in developing regions. Indonesia (26%), Vietnam (26%) and India (24%) see very high rates of customers reporting financial losses due to these scams. But there are other attack vectors as well, including cyber attacks, which are adding to the misery.
Whether or not this is due to the majority of these Internet user snot being exposed to scams in the past, remains unknown. One thing is for sure, though” the Internet is still a Wild West for internet criminals, and consumers need to take the necessary precautions. Bitcoin is not of particular interest to cyber criminals, which is positive news.
Source: Antara News
Header image courtesy of NewsBTC