Kaspersky experts have outlined the top four email scam themes and tactics currently prevalent in the Middle East, Turkey, and Africa region (META). These scams highlight different social engineering techniques used by cybercriminals, but the objective remains the same: to entice unsuspecting victims and steal their personal and financial information.
The first of which is phishing, which is the most common type of social engineering attack. It involves sending emails or text messages that appear to be from a legitimate source, such as a bank or government agency. The emails often contain links or attachments that, when clicked, install malware on the victim’s computer or redirect them to a fake website that steals their personal information.
The second is undelivered parcels, as this scam involves emails or text messages from postal or courier services that claim that a parcel has been undelivered and that the recipient needs to click on a link to confirm payment or to unsubscribe. Clicking on the link redirects the victim to a fake page that steals their sensitive information.
The third is Know Your Customer (KYC). In this scam, cybercriminals pose as prominent banks and request that people complete KYC verification to comply with financial regulations or avoid suspension of transactions. The emails often highlight words such as “urgent” to manipulate victims into clicking on a link that takes them to a fake website that steals their personal information.
The fourth is unusual email account log-in activity. This scam involves emails that flag false sign-in/log-in activity into an individual’s email account and provide a link to report the user. The email includes sign-in details such as country, IP address, date, and browser, which make the alert appear legitimate and cause worry. Coupled with the travel season, this scam theme can increase the cybercriminal success rate.
Social engineering techniques
The above tactics are all examples of social engineering techniques. Social engineering is a manipulation technique that relies on human psychology to trick people into revealing personal information or taking actions that are harmful to themselves or others.
Kaspersky experts recommend that users should be suspicious of emails or text messages from unknown senders.
Also, users should not click on links or open attachments in emails from unknown senders.
They also recommend that if you’re not sure whether an email is legitimate, contact the sender directly by phone or through their website.
Additionally, users should use a spam filter to block unwanted emails, keep their antivirus software up to date, and be careful about what personal information they share online.