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Why Is Online Fraud Such a Successful Racket?

One of the many hard lessons we, as a society and as consumers, learned over the course of the pandemic is that increased online traffic means more exposure to the harsh reality of online fraud. From online shopping and media consumption to financial management and professional activities, we are providing many different opportunities for cybercriminals to expose us to their fraudulent schemes.

2020 and 2021 showed online consumers how much we can do over the Internet and how effective we can be from our homes using IoT devices. Unfortunately, it also highlighted just how relentless, adaptable and opportunistic online fraudsters are – and 2022 has not been much different. They are indiscriminate and persistent, playing the numbers game and trying to defraud as many online consumers as they can.

Fortunately, our awareness of the dangers of cybercrimes and how to combat the risks they pose to online consumers has dramatically increased since the beginning of the pandemic due to increased online activity. Through examining, researching and understanding how cybercriminals operate, we have developed much stronger digital protections that will benefit anyone sharing personal information on the Internet.

We are better equipped than ever to combat the risks posed by online fraud, so why are they still succeeding in their criminal efforts? This is a reasonable question, but it does not account for the increasing complexity of these fraudulent schemes and the sheer scale of the problem. There are billions of online users, threatened by millions of online fraudsters, across thousands of online platforms.

The ability to combat online fraud is largely dependant on how well we understand the schemes in question and how well the potential victims of those schemes are protected. This includes businesses, organisations, institutions and families that are conducting their personal or professional business online. It is important to note that modern antimalware and antivirus software solutions are better at detecting and stopping suspicious activity.

The ability of any individual, company or organisation to protect their ever-increasing online presence will depend on the resources, digital processes and online capabilities of those users. There is no 100% guarantee for preventing fraud, because it just takes one mistake to have your personal or professional information compromised. Most online protective measures, such as antiviruses and two-factor authentication, will work against most of these schemes – but not all.

Most South Africans are aware of the risks posed by online fraudsters and have taken some measures to protect their finances and businesses. However, there is always more that South Africans can be doing to protect their online presence. Especially, when considering that cyber fraud schemes are constantly evolving and adapting to counteract growing cybercrime awareness and protective measures of South Africa’s online users.

It is critical that all of us who utilise online banking services, subscribe to streaming services or conduct professional activities online are keeping up with the latest fraud prevention techniques. For example, AI-supported and machine learning fraud prevention solutions have the technical and interpretative capacity to identify suspicious activities, protect your personal information and reduce the risk of online fraud.

Online fraud prevention is a critical component of living in the modern day. If you are an online consumer, a business owner or a social media expert, you should be taking care to protect your online presence. It may seem unlikely, but we all feel like that way before it happens. You could be the next victim of one of the thousands of cybercrimes occurring every day. Invest in your personal online protection and ensure your data stays safe.

At MarisIT, we are committed to protecting South Africans, their businesses and our organisations from the growing threat of cyber fraud. We offer a range of products and services designed to mitigate cybersecurity risks and keep your online presence safe and secure. If you want to build a strong antifraud culture in your company or protect your personal information, contact MarisIT today.

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