The Cyber Security Authority (CSA) has issued a warning to customers and online shoppers about scammers this Christmas season.
According to CSA, ‘Black Friday’ and ‘Cyber Monday’ mark the beginning of the Christmas shopping season for many households around the world. Many retailers in Ghana are running one promotion or the other to drive sales.
With the increasing availability of digital shopping channels, the CSA anticipates a surge in the number of shopping scams such as fake online shops and malware attacks.
The authority said malicious actors would create online profiles to promote and sell non-existent goods at very affordable prices. They ask potential buyers to make upfront payments to mobile money wallets with names not related to the shop or even the seller. After receiving payment, they don’t deliver the goods and they subsequently block the buyer from communicating with them.
Phishing by fake websites and apps
CSA is warning Ghanaians to be worried about phishing, a tactic that malicious actors use to deceive people into disclosing their personal information for example debit/credit card number or account password by getting them to click on malicious links cloaked in official-looking emails, attachments, and logos that lead to impersonated websites of popular brands like Amazon or Alibaba.
Be on the lookout for fake online shops and hyped adverts, especially on Facebook, Instagram and Telegram, and do due diligence on any shopping site before purchasing items online.
The authority has said, if possible, to only shop from reputable and well-known online stores and stays away from websites you have never heard about, do payments on delivery rather than making payments with the assurance that the goods purchased will be delivered and be cautious of proposals and deals including those shared by email, that seems too good to be true no matter how appealing they appear.
“We employ Ghanaians to report or call any suspicious actions to the CSA on a 24-hour Cybersecurity/Cybercrime Incident Reporting Points of Contact (PoC) for reporting cybercrimes and for seeking clarification and guidance on online links and transactions, 292, WhatsApp – 0501603111, Email – email@example.com.”