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Phishing in Africa: scammers target digital payment users

By , ITWeb
Kenya , Africa , Nigeria , 03 Aug 2022

Phishing scams continue to target Africa, with Kenya and Nigeria both experiencing a high number of incidents.

This is according to Kaspersky’s Digital Payment survey, according to which 61% of respondents from Nigeria faced phishing scams when using online banking or mobile wallet services. 67% have personally encountered fake websites, and a staggering 82% experienced scams (via texts or calls) using social engineering.

When asked about awareness of threats against digital payment methods, the majority of respondents from Nigeria report that they are aware of both the financial phishing attacks (95%) and online scams (97%). 78% also stated that they are informed about banking malware on PCs and on mobile. This type of malicious software steals money from users’ bank accounts.

However, 98% think that banks and payment companies should educate users more about the threats online.

When it comes to a list of security features that consumers would like to see more on existing banking apps and mobile wallets, according to the survey results, here’s what matters most to them:

• The implementation of one-time-passwords (OTPs) via SMS for every transaction (76%)

• Biometric security features like facial or fingerprint recognition (75%)

• Requiring two-factor authentication (64%)

• Automated detection and intervention for fraudulent transactions (39%)

• Point-to-point encryption (22%)

“Whether we talk about the proliferation of phishing scams or mobile malware, it is important to establish some basic cybersecurity standards. Advanced security solutions, which are able to filter out most of the generic attack vectors, supplemented with other preventive measures such as good cybersecurity awareness and regular password changes, can help to keep your financial transactions secure,” said Bethwel Opil, Enterprise Sales Manager at Kaspersky in Africa.

Attacks have skyrocketed

Recently, ITWeb reported that according to Kaspersky, attacks related to data loss, such as phishing and social engineering, have skyrocketed in Africa in Q2 2022, growing by 234% in comparison with the previous quarter.

The company’s security solutions detected 10 722 886 phishing attacks across the continent in Q2.

“Kenyan users have been affected the most by this type of threat – there were 5 098 534 phishing attacks detected in thee months, a growth of 438% when compared to the previous quarter. It was followed by SA with 4 578 216 detections and a growth of 144%, and Nigeria with 1 046 136 detections, or a growth of 174%,” ITWeb reported.

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