According to network security appliances provider Fortinet, major events such as the expected Malaysian 13th General Election, EUFA European football championship, the summer Olympics as well as the US presidential election will present new opportunities for attacks by cyber criminals against Malaysian online users.
Fortinet's FortiGuard AntiVirus analyst Karine de Ponteves said the second half of 2012 will generate significant heightened cyber criminal activity. "Cyber criminals will attempt to 'cash in' with a flood of malware attacks."
"With more than two billion people around the world connected online, the Internet has become the favourite playground of scammers," said de Ponteves. "There are thousands of scams in circulation today and it would be difficult to list them all. But they clearly pursue the same goal: extort money from their victims by taking advantage of their credulity."
She said Malaysians need to be on the alert for some of the following scams:
1. Fake Lotteries
These consist of spam e-mails sent to users to inform them that they are one of the lucky winners eligible for a large money amount or an exciting high-value prize.
2. Purchase Fraud
Promising tickets at discount prices for major events, known as 'Purchase Fraud.'
3. Rouge AV
During major sports or political events, many users browse the Internet to learn about scores, results and other hot news.
4. Video Hoaxes and Social Networks
Users may receive a message from a Facebook friend claiming to offer 'exclusive' images or 'rare' video footage, especially after a major event.
5. Phishing & Identity Theft
Users may receive an email from their bank and/or Paypal highlighting that their account is blocked and requiring them to complete a form with their bank login details to remedy the situation.
6. Advance Fee 'Nigerian' Fraud
The concept is simple: convince the victims they are going to receive a huge amount of money in exchange for little or no effort on their part.
7. Sweetheart Swindles
Perpetrators develop a long-distance relationship with their intended victims.
"All the above scams are flooding the Web and even well-informed Internet users might be snared," said de Ponteves, adding that users should double check before clicking on links to applications or requests for password or credit card information.
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