Cybersecurity News – Targeting Citizens Across the World
A Global Anti-Scam Alliance (GASA) survey conducted in association with Scam Adviser and involving 49,459 people from 43 countries paints a devastating picture of the worldwide onslaught of scams, highlighting an urgent need for vigilance and preventive action. The survey revealed that a substantial 25.5% of world citizens lost money to scams or identity theft in the last 12 months, with financial losses adding up to an estimated $1.026tn. EFA is affiliated to GASA’s Scam Adviser Alerts (ScamAdviser), which held is annual conference in October.
Another GASA survey (conducted in association with Cifas), of 2,000 British citizens indicated that 10% of Britons lost money to scams or identity theft in the last 12 months, culminating in financial losses approximated at £7.5bn ($9.3bn). The 2023 Global Anti-Scam Alliance (GASA) survey paints an unsettling picture of the current state of scams in the UK, highlighting an urgent need for vigilance and preventative action.
The GASA conference heard that online scams are the most reported type of crime in Europe and the USA. Many countries now state that between 20 to 50% of all crimes reported are related to online fraud. This is only the tip of the iceberg, as only an estimated 7% of all scam victims report the crime to law enforcement. With nearly $55bn lost last year and more than 300m consumers scammed fast action is required.
For example, Kenya has witnessed an alarming surge in cyberattacks, with a staggering 860m incidents recorded in the past year, according to the country’s communications regulator. The regulator has expressed concerns over the escalating frequency, sophistication, and scale of these cyber threats, particularly targeting Kenya’s critical information infrastructure. To put this into perspective, back in 2017, Kenya faced 7.7m cyberattacks, highlighting the significant increase over the past 4 years. The Communications Authority of Kenya revealed that a substantial 79% of these cyberattacks were a result of criminals infiltrating the computer systems of various organizations.
On the other hand, SABRIC (the SA bank’s organisation which tracks fraud) has reported in its half year report for 2023 that fraud using bank cards was slightly down on 2022. SABRIC does not, however, track internet scams.
Meanwhile, the Africa Internet Governance Forum (AIGF) has identified cybercrime as a big threat to Africa’s digital transformation strategy. This was one of the recommendations at the twelfth African Internet Governance Forum, with the theme ‘Transforming Africa’s Digital Landscape: Empowering Inclusion, Security and Innovation’, held in Abuja, in September. The Forum noted that Africa’s digital workforce strategy is reactive and that urgent investment is required to bridge the digital divide and to develop the digital workforce that is needed for innovation.
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