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Watch out for cyber criminals during COVID-19 pandemic, experts warn

Experts noticed that some cyber criminals are requesting assistance for medical treatment even asking for funds to buy masks and protective gear.

FILE: Experts have also urged those lonely and looking for romance online to never give any personal information or make payments to people they have never met. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Cyber experts are warning that criminals are exploiting the genuine hunger for news and information around COVID-19 to defraud consumers.

The experts on Thursday said they had noticed a sharp increase in different cybercrimes in South Africa.

They are urging consumers to be extra vigilant when receiving any suspicious SMSes and emails as criminals are taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic.

They’ve noticed that some cyber criminals are requesting assistance for medical treatment, even asking for funds to buy masks and protective gear.

Cyber expert Lerato Mbopane says companies are also being targeted where criminals gain access to emails.

“What they do is create a sense of panic, urging clients to make payments or give banking details or to deliver stock at new addresses.”

Experts have also urged those lonely and looking for romance online to never give any personal information or make payments to people they have never met.

(Edited by Refilwe Pitjeng)