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ScamAdviser research on Cybersecurity

October was cybersecurity month. According to research conducted by The Global Anti Scam Alliance (GASA) and ScamAdviser of 3,500+ internet users, 73% of respondents are either sure or think that they were exposed to a scam last year, broadly similar to last year’s survey which recorded a figure of 71%. On a more positive note, 27% claim to have definitely not been exposed to a scam compared to 12% in 2021. Other key findings:

  • Cryptocurrency schemes are now the most common scam globally (but not in Africa according to other research – see below)
  • 46% do not report the scam to any organisation
  • 84% rate police and government efforts as poor

On the 9th – 10th of November, GASA will organize the Global Anti Scam Summit to identify new solutions to fight the online rise of scams.

The ‘Why do Internet Scammers 2022’ Report can be downloaded here Download Report

As a matter of fact, globally, the volume of illicit crypto-related transactions reached $14bn and continues to grow this year in 2021. This has prompted many government agencies to develop regulations and offer guidance on crypto compliance in an effort to protect investors moving forward. On the other hand, global cybersecurity funding in Q1 of 2022 at $6.5bn was second only to Q4 of 2021, when $9.6bn was invested in cybersecurity systems.

Meanwhile in Africa, a report published by KYC’s Smile Identity found that the first half of 2022 alone saw a 30% increase of cybercrime over 2021. The report also noted that there had been an increase in fraud attempts in countries like Kenya, while a reduction was observed in Ghana and SA. “In 2020, 17% of all Smile Identity KYC checks were flagged as attempted fraud, and in the first half of 2022, this number increased to 26%. For the foreseeable future, as businesses adapt to the new virtual reality, we expect to see more and new types of fraud emerge increasingly,” the report stated. As for the sectors experiencing fraud, the report found that Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) platforms have become the leading target, while crypto was the least affected despite the sector’s attention. According to the report, most of the fraud attempts reported were not sophisticated – i.e., attempting to open an account with a stolen or invalid ID. But as the value at risk increases, fraudsters are attempting complicated hacks like poisoning identity databases with fake names and faces. The report concludes that several African countries are updating their digital identity infrastructure, for example, Nigeria and SA are encouraging citizens to enrol in more secure IDs that centralise and standardise information. Furthermore, partnerships between government, development institutions and the private sector are driving change and reducing downtime as the second quarter of 2022 witnessed a noticeable improvement in the reliability of major ID types.

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