• Friday, March 01, 2024
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BusinessDay

New Visa survey sees over-confident customers as easy fraud targets

Cyber fraud in Nigeria

Visa’s latest Stay Secure study on cyber fraud activity across 17 countries, has shown that consumers who project over-confidence mostly do not heed cyber warnings thereby making them easy prey to cyber attackers.

The study finds that 90 percent of consumers who claim they are savvy enough to sidestep online and phone scams are likely to disregard the warning signs that suggest online criminal activity.

The study is part of Visa’s Stay Secure Campign which focuses on raising consumer awareness, strengthening education, and building confidence to combat social engineering threats. The campaign aims to pave the way for a secure and seamless digital payment experience. Through this initiative, Visa provides educational content, including videos, infographics, and tips designed to equip consumers with the knowledge and skills to recognize and prevent fraud.

Read also: Utiva to equip 1 million cybersecurity talents for multiple industries

“In today’s digital-first world, scams are evolving in sophistication, with criminals using new approaches to trick unsuspecting consumers. Whether it’s a parcel held up at customs, a streaming subscription claiming to have expired, or a free voucher for a favourite brand, scammers are adopting persuasive tactics to deceive. Understanding the language of fraud is increasingly essential, and our Visa Stay Secure educational platform provides the knowledge and skills to help stay ahead of fraudulent activity online,” said Charles Lobo, Regional Risk Officer for Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa at Visa.

According to the study, consumers who consider themselves to be knowledgeable might be vulnerable because false confidence can propel them to click on a fake link or respond to a scam offer.

“Those who consider themselves more knowledgeable are more likely to respond to a requested action from scammers compared to those who say they are less knowledgeable, including positive news (74% to 67%) or urgent action (65% to 55%),” the study noted.
While there are some consumers who feel confident in their vigilance, over half say that their friends or friends are likely to fall victim to a scam email offering a free gift card or product from an online shopping site. More than a third of consumers are concerned about their children or minors, as well as retired people falling prey to online scams.

For those who keep vigilance, what makes them suspicious include orders, product offers, feedback and importantly, password requests.
“Only 57 percent reported looking to ensure communications are sent from a valid email address, while 52% will check if the company name or logo was attached to the message. Fewer than half of correspondents look for an order number (45%) or an account number (43%). Only 33% look to ensure words are spelt correctly,” the survey noted.

Visa says it is tirelessly working behind the scenes to stay one step ahead.

“Worldwide, we have invested over $10 billion over the past five years in technology, including to reduce fraud and enhance network security. This has included $500 million on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and data infrastructure, enabling us to power 100 different capabilities that use AI to protect our clients and customers. More than a thousand dedicated specialists protect Visa’s network from malware, zero-day attacks and insider threats 24x7x365. In fact, over the last year alone, Visa proactively prevented $27.1 billion in potential fraud,” the company said.