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SABRIC - Phishing Scams Rising in South Africa

The South African Banking Risk Information Center (SABRIC), which chiefly functions for fighting against banking crime in South Africa, has issued an alert for everyone about an increase in online fraud in spite of media drawing the public's attention during the recent weeks. The SABRIC reports that the number of phishing scams targeting consumers are continuously increasing, while they are also becoming more and more sophisticated.

According to the Center, after online banking manipulation temporarily declined between April and May 2009, scams against this medium (the banking channel) increased like never before - making South Africa the 3rd most victimized country after the United States and the United Kingdom.

The reason for this is partly associated with the advanced technologies and the country's "First World" status in banking system. Moreover, South Africa's banking industry uses English as its language for functioning and phishers too use this language.

Kalyani Pillay, CEO of SABRIC, states that the term phishing means stealing personal information via e-mails. Of course, it takes place via other means like 'short messaging system' (SMS) and telephone. Actually, the notable aspect is that using e-mail as the medium works is the most popular one for executing phishing attacks in the financial sector, Ms. Pillay explains, as reported by Timeslive on June 27, 2010.

Meanwhile, it is worth noting that the SABRIC protesting against phishers and their scams isn't something new.

During February 2010, the SABRIC noted through a press report that the phishing e-mail texts weren't anymore restricted to excuses related to bank security alerts, end-user awareness details, and other associated details, which banks customers were likely to anticipate from their financial institutions for tricking them into clicking through spoof or phishing websites. Since a lot of customers had come to understand that banks didn't ever send such types of e-mails, a more fresh form of phishing messages seemed to be emerging online.

For example, SABRIC stated that phishing e-mails posed as messages sent by other agencies like the South African Revenue Service. They lure customers to provide their personal information in order to get a so-called 'tax refund.'

Related article: SABRIC Warns Online Banking Customers of Rising Phishing Attacks

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