8 steps to take to protect yourself from email phishing

While the shift to online and digital has provided many opportunities, it has also come with a rise in online fraud requiring an increased level of vigilance to be applied across our business to better protect our customers.

To ensure customers and data are better protected against malicious actors, Yoco has put together 8 steps to take to protect yourself from email phishing.

A substantial increase in digital crime has been reported over the last few years, reaching an all-time high in 2019, with the most prevalent type of fraud during 2020 and 2021 being phishing

Fraudsters and scammers are always looking for a way to make money quickly- and that often involves targeting people for information and money. One way they do this is via email phishing. This is an attempt to extract personal information such as bank details, usernames or passwords via an email seemingly from the person’s financial institution, such as their bank or SARS. People are then tricked into providing this personal information which leads to criminals gaining access to funds, resulting in fraud. 

Attempts at email phishing have become more professional, criminals are getting smarter in how they format these emails to make them look legitimate,” says Swendrisa Peter, Head of Risk and Compliance at Yoco.

Yoco’s Risk Team provides 8 tips below to help identify email phishing. 

  1. Avoid clicking on links, or opening attachments in any unexpected emails, these links could contain malicious malware designed to obtain passwords and other personal information.
  2. Never share confidential or secret information via email, this includes personal passwords, pins, credit card or banking information, or OTPs. 
  3. Look out for incorrect logos, spelling and grammar mistakes, fraudsters intentionally do this to make their emails appear more real. 
  4. Fraudsters may also use scare tactics to get you to click on links – be aware of claims of overdue invoices and final notices, to create panic and encourage you to click.
  5. Do not trust emails from unknown sources. Check email addresses from assumed ‘known’ contacts or institutions; fraudsters create emails that may look similar to your contacts. 
  6. Always go directly to your secure financial institution’s websites to conduct your online financial services and never follow links or icons in emails. 
  7. When in doubt, verify the authenticity of the email via other means of communication (online chat, phone call, etc.)
  8. Perform thorough and regular checks on your account statements for any unauthorised transactions, withdrawals or payments
  9. Importantly, if you feel you’ve been a victim of fraud, immediately contact your bank or financial institution to report it and take steps to further prevent additional loss. 

“Consumers need to be aware of common email phishing tactics and actively take steps to protect themselves from being a target,” adds Peter. In some instances, there are clear signs that may peak suspicion, other times attempts at phishing are sophisticated and extremely convincing. “This is why it’s imperative that anyone using digital services keeps abreast of the latest scam tactics and doesn’t let their guard down – if something doesn’t feel right, rather be safe and than sorry.”

About Yoco

Yoco is an Africa payments and software platform for small businesses. It offers omnichannel payment acceptance and an ecosystem of financial and software tools to over 250 000 small businesses. With activities currently in South Africa, Yoco’s intention is to grow its footprint across Africa and the Middle East. Yoco believes that by removing barriers and opening up more possibilities for entrepreneurs to thrive, that economic prosperity for all will follow.  For more information read our Fraud 101 guide here

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