There has been an increase in reports of email hacking scams involving the theft of money intended to be paid as the purchase price of property, transfer costs and fees.
In most of the incidents reported, the hackers gained access to the email accounts of the seller or the purchaser. The hackers use the email addresses of these parties to communicate fraudulent banking details. Parties are usually unsuspecting as they expect the emails and the emails form part of an existing chain of correspondence. The unsuspecting victim ends up paying the fraudster instead of the intended recipient. Life savings can be lost through these scams as the fraudulent accounts are usually cleared by the time that the crime is discovered.
With property transactions, where there may be a whole team working on each side, the risk is perhaps greater: more people to unwittingly disclose information.
The following steps can help to stop you becoming a victim of cybercrime:
Identity theft and fraud is one of the most common types of cybercrime. The term Identity Theft is used when a person purports to be some other person, with a view to creating fraud for financial gains. When this is done online on the Internet, it is called Online Identity Theft.
This is one of the detestable malware-based attacks. Ransomware enters your computer network and encrypts your files using public-key encryption, and unlike other malware this encryption key remains on the hacker’s server. Attacked users are then asked to pay huge ransoms to receive this private key.
DDoS attacks are used to make an online service unavailable and bring it down, by bombarding or overwhelming it with traffic from multiple locations and sources. Large networks of infected computers, called Botnets are developed by planting malware on the victim’s computers.
Spam and Phishing
Spamming and phishing are two very common forms of cybercrimes. There is not much you can do to control them. Spam is basically unwanted emails and messages. They use Spambots. Phishing is a method where cyber criminals offer bait so that you take it and give out the information they want. The bait can be in the form of a business proposal, announcement of a lottery to which you never subscribed, and anything that promises you money for nothing or a small favour.
Social engineering is a method where cyber criminals make direct contact with you using emails or phones – mostly the latter. They try to gain your confidence and once they succeed at it, they get the information they need. This information can be about you, your money, your company where you work or anything that can be of interest to cyber criminals.
Remote Administration Tools
Remote Administration Tools are used to carry out illegal activities. It can be used to control the computer using shell commands, steal files/data, send location of the computer to a remote controlling device and more.
Preventive steps against Cybercrime
Apart from inculcating safe browsing habits, maintain good system hygiene. Avoid leaving Digital Footprints. You must secure your Windows system with a fully updated operating system and installed software and ensure that you install a good Internet security software to protect your Windows 8.1 computer. Using the Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit on Windows is a great way to protect your system against zero-day attacks.
If you are looking to buy or sell your property make sure you consult one of Home and Hectare’s Property Specialists on 041 581 1744 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for knowledgeable guidance along your investment journey.