CSA warns public against shopping scams ahead of Christmas

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Shopping Mall
Shopping Mall

The Cyber Security Authority (CSA) has warned Ghanaians to exercise caution before purchasing items online ahead of the Christmas season.

The Authority said due to the increasing availability of digital shopping channels, it anticipated a surge in the number of shopping scams such as fake online shops and malware attacks.
A statement issued by CSA said, “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” marked the beginning of the Christmas shopping season for many households around the world, as such, many retailers in Ghana were running one promotion or the other to drive sales.

It said the Online Fraud Malicious actors created online profiles to promote and sell non-existent goods at very affordable prices.

The statement said the fraudsters asked potential buyers to make upfront payments to mobile money wallets with names not related to the shop or even the seller.

It said after receiving payment, “they don’t deliver the goods, and subsequently block the buyer from communicating with them”.

The statement said phishing was a major tactic that malicious actors used to deceive people into disclosing their personal information.

“This includes debit/credit card number or account password by getting them to click on malicious links cloaked in official-looking emails, attachments, and logos that lead to impersonated websites of popular brands like Amazon or Alibaba.”

The CSA advised the public to be on the lookout for fake online shops and hyped adverts, especially on Facebook, Instagram, and Telegram.

It urged them to do due diligence on any shopping site before purchasing items online.

The statement said potential buyers should only shop from reputable and well-known online stores and stay away from websites they had never heard about.

It advised them to do payments on delivery rather than making payments with the assurance that the goods purchased would be delivered.

The statement asked them to be cautious of proposals and deals, including those shared by email, that seemed too good to be true no matter how appealing they appeared.

“The CSA has a 24-hour Cybersecurity/Cybercrime Incident Reporting Points of Contact (POC) for reporting cybercrimes and for seeking clarification and guidance on online links and transactions; Call or Text – 292, WhatsApp-0501603111, Email – report@csa.gov.gh,” it added.

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