Complex Made Simple

Online scams strike millions of victims in the UAE, again: Need solid tips?

How many times a day do you come across vague ads?

Have you ever paid for something online that didn’t arrive?

Well, online scams are increasing every day.

In fact, 44% of online consumers were impacted by cybercrime in 2017, according to the Norton Cyber Security Insights 2017 Report, released by Norton by Symantec, a data security firm.

And UAE consumers have had their fair share of scrupulous online deals.

How hard was the impact?

The report said that consumers in the UAE face a variety of risks including online shopping scams, credit and debit card fraud and breach of their personal information.

Last year alone, UAE expats lost an average of 47h dealing with the aftermath of data breaches, compared to an average of 24h spent globally, the report mentioned.

Globally, cybercrime victims lost a whopping $172 billion, while the UAE faced $1.1 billion in losses.

Some 3.72 million individuals in the UAE became subject to cyber crimes compared to more than 978 million adults globally.

Cybercrimes to watch out for

According to the report, here are the most common cybercrimes experienced by consumers during 2017, followed by AMEinfo’s tips to limit your exposure  to online fraud in the future:

Problem: 53% experienced having a device infected by a virus or other security threat

Solution: Don’t store account log-in details, passwords or account numbers on your mobile device, and if you’re selling your phone to someone, make sure you “wipe” or apply a factory reset to your device beforehand.

Problem: 38% experienced debit or credit card fraud.

Solution: Read the websites’ policies on privacy and security and be mindful of intrusive cookies

Problem: 34% have had an account password compromised.

Solution: Use strong and unique passwords for your e-commerce account logins.

Problem: 34% encountered unauthorized access to or hacking of an email or social media account.

Solution: Make sure the URL is authentic and check if the website includes “https” when entering your payment information and that you are not redirected to another website.

Problem: 33% made a purchase online that turned out to be a scam.

Solution: Only shop with reputable online merchants. Before making a purchase, research the website you are buying from

Problem: 32% clicked on a fraudulent email or provided sensitive (personal/financial) information in response to a fraudulent email.

Solution: Do not click on links sent through emails. Instead, manually type the website’s URL in your browser- If an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.