October 27, 2020

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Fraudsters are still active online: Corona playground for cyber criminals

Fraudsters are still active online: Corona playground for cyber criminals


Photo: Pexels.com

The corona crisis has been accompanied by an unprecedented increase in the number of recorded incidents of cybercrime in the Netherlands. Cybercrime, for example, was the fastest growing form of crime in Overijssel. Where in March 696 incidents were recorded by the police, there were 870 in April and no fewer than 1,869 in May of this year. Even now, it remains cautious, both for businesses and individuals.

It is the first time that cybercrime crimes have exceeded the number of break-ins. This data comes from an analysis of the latest nationwide cyber crime statistics from VPNgids.nl. Digital crime reports are almost seven times higher than in previous years. Cybercrime reports are also increasing in the media.

Why more cybercrime?

There are two main reasons cyber criminals use this corona time to strike. This is mainly because most people have less personal contact than usual. This is conveniently anticipated, also via WhatsApp and text messages. The second reason is that many people are and still are working from home and many burglars are left jobless. You are shifting your field of activity to the online world.

Scam on facebook

A common form of cybercrime in recent times is cheating on friends in need. A victim receives an app from a friend who appears to be in trouble and asks if there is an urgent need for money transfer. Then money is taken in a convincing way. But messages or e-mails from banks or other institutions that want to click on a link are also frequent. There are also parties posing as lenders on Facebook. By using an “old” logo, people think they are dealing with the original company. By Facebook Messenger People are offered a loan. Consumers are asked to make a payment before receiving the amount they would like to borrow in their account. This is of course not deposited and the amount (called authentication costs) is never refunded.

What should you watch out for?

Obviously, cyber criminals are getting more creative. When a shape stops working, they know how to come up with something new. They do everything possible to appear trustworthy via email. It’s up to consumers to stay awake and pay close attention. Never just click on a link and never send money. Do you want Borrow money directly? Then do so with a reliable lender and check that the company is licensed by the Dutch Financial Markets Authority (AFM).

How can you identify spam and phishing emails? Here are some questions consumers can ask:

  • If in doubt, check the email address. Does the sender’s domain name match the sender’s company name?
  • Are there (recognizable) errors in the text of the email?
  • Is the URL of the link correct? You can check this out before you click by hovering your mouse pointer over the link
  • Is the account number to which a payment must be made correct?