Rising wave of Cyber Attacks Fraud

  • September 8, 2022
  • By Cyberarch Admin

There has been an exponential rise in cyber scams across the world with the growing use of internet users, electronic devices and dawn of the digital era. Tens of billions of dollars are estimated to have been looted by the cyber scammers from the victims.

But recently, something more devastating have come to fore. In Cambodia, countless people are forced to conduct frauds on behest of the cyber crime syndicate and this includes both young men and women. These people also termed as cyber slaves are first tricked into joining their business on a false pretext and later tortured, enslaved and forced to work for them.

This form of cyber crime has alarmed cyber security professionals, leaders in the field and government agencies to rethink their strategies to counter the growing problem of cyber attacks. Read the complete story below.

Cyber Slaves of Cambodia

Al Jazeera, the independent news organization recently published a number of real stories about people who got entangled by Chinese cyber scam operations in Cambodia.

Many vulnerable people who lost their jobs and income during the Covid-19 pandemic were targeted by cyber crime organizations. The escalating cost of living in a place like Cambodia left no other option for people than to join such businesses offering lucrative salaries. However, young men and women only realised later that they had joined a scam operation.

Scores of people are forced to work at scamming compounds fortified by barbed wires and away from the glare of common people. Beaten, abused and enslaved, they are forced to scam others within the country and in different parts of the world such as Australia, Asia, Europe, and the US.

The victims who fell in the hands of organised cyber crime in Cambodia have revealed that success rate of such operations have been quite high. Stealing up to 1.5 million from Individuals and more than 3 million from a group of people were part of the operations.

This is simply astonishing as no one expects cyber criminals to operate at such a large sale from a place like Cambodia. But technology, software and internet have made it possible. Cyber security experts also found their operations very professional, organised and sophisticated.

In addition, it has been found that advanced technology are being used by cyber scammers in Cambodia. Modern software were used to find phone numbers of all people in a given locality, city and country. A goal of contacting 500 people was given to the cyber slaves. The said company also had the technology to access 30 WhatsApp accounts at one go and translate messages from Chinese language to any language of the targeted victim.

Understanding Cyber Scams

Cyber scams can be defined as the deceptive criminal activities carried out by cyber criminals to cheat people and gain financial benefits. It is achieved through dubious means such as misleading information, social engineering, exploiting vulnerabilities and trickery.

Cyber scams can be chiefly divided into two broad categories: Cyber-dependent fraud and Cyber-enabled fraud. The former type basically includes all fraudulent activities that are dependent on internet to collect information and access computers and networks. Hacking, DDoS and disrupting computer operations are examples which are more frequently used against businesses and governments.

Cyber-enabled fraud comprises cyber scams which only use internet and computer systems to maximize its potential, increase the scale and to create an impact. They do not necessarily depend on technology. The cyber scams are very similar to incidents that happen via telephone, emails and messages.

Cyber Scam Types

Some of the common cyber-enabled fraud includes:

  • Electronics

Banking is one of the major industries where cyber scams takes place via electronics. In most cases, financial frauds through banks occur via transactions conducted remotely and using the internet. Neither the card-holder recognises this activity nor are cards used in the process. Businesses as well as customers making the purchase through e-commerce stores both are often duped and lose financially.

  • Sales

In this type of cyber scam, a bogus or fraud website is developed offering products and services that are in reality non-existent. Buyers or customers pay the money and are duped. In other cases, counterfeit products are made available for purchase through misinformation and misrepresentation. Every day such cases across different parts of the globe are reported.

  • Mass Marketing

This is a popular cyber scam method employed by crime syndicates to lure potentially vulnerable people. In this type, advance money or investment is demanded initially which in turn promises to double the money later. It comes in different forms such as inheritance, charity, disaster relief, lottery, pyramid scheme which are completely fraudulent.

  • Online Romance Scams

Social media platforms and dating websites are one of the major ways online romance scams are carried out. Too much time is invested in building a false relationship and personal and financial information is retrieved in the process, ultimately stealing money. Crypto-currency romance scams have also increased in recent times.

  • Mobile Scams

Smart phone and mobile phones nowadays come with many pre-installed applications. Just like emails or phishing scams, mobile scams happen when personal or bank details are filled in the fake apps and shared without analysing it.

  • Online Gambling Scams

Gambling has become a great pass time for people globally. This is the reason why there has been a significant rise in online gambling scams as well. It includes identity theft, spyware, ransomware, stealing and much more. A lot of damage personally as well as professionally is caused through gambling scams. People lose a large sum of money through gambling scams.

  • Gaming Scams

Games are now played over internet more than ever. This has opened up opportunities for scammers to target online gamers. Hackers often get access to the user and retrieve personal details. Malware is also used to steal private information. This is due to the system vulnerabilities and lack of security measures in place. Therefore, gamers should be wary of the threat cyber scams pose and remain alert always.

Who are at Risk?

Cyber scam can affect everyone and anyone present in the online world. Although cyber scams are targeted against individuals, businesses and governments should also pay attention and take preventive measures to stop cyber scams from happening. It is also important because millions of incidents are reported every year and there is a significant jump in such cases as well. Cyber fraudsters also target all age groups, especially people in their old age and young people who do not know best practices for online transactions.

Tips to Prevent Cyber Scam

If you frequently use internet on different devices and share personal and financial information, here are few tips to prevent yourself from cyber scams.

  • Security Information

A genuine organization, bank or business will never ask your bank card information, ATM Pin number and private details. As cyber scams most often happen over calls or online, take a moment and think before you act. If you have little doubt about the authenticity of the caller, do not share the information. Instead, you can go to the bank or respective organizations and find out the details.

  • Emails and Calls

Cyber criminals do thorough research and come to know about your personal details, home address and other data available on the web. Based on this information they may inform you over emails and calls about fake offers or engage you in scams. Do not fall for that and be alert always.

  • Pressure Tactics

Many cyber scammers will try to use pressure tactics and urgency to carry out fraudulent activities. The practice such as forcing you to give bank or card details immediately, conducts money transactions on the spot or transfer to another account should alert you. If it feels wrong, disconnect the phone immediately.

  • Report Cyber Scam

Another important thing you must do is to report cyber scams or fraudulent activities as soon as possible. There are various means by which you can report internet related crimes against hackers, scammers and cyber thieves.

The case of cyber slaves in Cambodia also shows that you should be alert about the job offers made. Check the company information, employees and their presence online. This will prevent you from joining such crime syndicates as well.

 As cases of cyber scams increase at an alarming rate worldwide, following simple tips discussed and being alert can prevent you from being scammed and lose money. If you want to take special cyber security measures at the workplace or organization, you can always consult cyber security professionals or partner with them.

 

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