October 5, 2022

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Online impersonation a major threat – Cyber Security Authority

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The Cyber Security Authority (CA) has disclosed that there was a surge in online impersonation in June, 2022.

The Authority explained that after its active intelligence on social media in the month of June, it found out that the fake profiles of government appointees and other persons of influence are being used to sway online users to make fraudulent investments or to pay fees for non-existing contracts.

“The Cyber Security Authority has conducted active threat intelligence on social media and found online impersonation as a major threat in the month of June 2022. Online impersonation assumes a significant portion of fraudulent online activities.

“The unrestricted nature of social media account registration process grants all users the ability to assume any identity. This has emboldened scammers who generally take on the profiles of known businesses as well as political and influential personalities in society for their criminal activities,” portions of a statement released by the Authority stated.

According to the Authority, in the first half of this year alone, it is estimated that over 900 cases of online scams and their related activities were reported.

The Authority said the impersonation targets include Ministers of State, Members of Parliament, other persons of influence; and institutions like the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, Ghana Police service, the National Lottery Authority, and companies like Dzata Cement and Awake Limited.

In the statement released on July 12, the CA said activities related to the online impersonation and its related scam include; “promotion of fraudulent investments, loan scams, gambling fraud, Government agent scam (award of non-existing contracts, grants, and scholarships), fake recruitment offers, solicitation of funds and online service fraud.”

As part of efforts to protect the unsuspecting public, the cyber security authority is asking the general public to avoid dealing with non-verified profiles online.

“Genuine Government officials will not contact anyone via social media to offer them jobs. It is important to verify before you accept friend requests and engage public figures and influential people; someone may have stolen their identity.”

Read full details of the statement below;

PUBLIC ALERT ONLINE IMPERSONATION
The Cyber Security Authority (CA) has conducted active threat intelligence on social media and found
online impersonation as a major threat in the month of June 2022.
Online Impersonation assumes a significant portion of fraudulent online activities. The
“unrestricted” nature of social media account registration processes grants all users the ability to
assume any identity. This has emboldened scammers who generally take on the profiles of known
businesses as well as political and influential personalities in society for their criminal activities.
The CA has made the following observations:

  1. Impersonation targets include Ministers of State, Members of Parliament, other persons of
    influence; and institutions like the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, Ghana
    Police service, the National Lottery Authority, and companies like Data Cement and Awake
    Limited.
  2. Activities related to this scam include promotion of fraudulent investments, loan scams,
    gambling fraud, Government agent scam (award of non-existing contracts, grants, and
    scholarships), fake recruitment offers, solicitation of funds and online service fraud.
    The public and especially social media users are advised to note that:
    Genuine Government officials will not contact anyone via social media to offer them jobs.
  3. It is important to verify before you accept friend requests and engage public figures and
    influential people; someone may have stolen their identity.
  4. The CA 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
    Issued by Cyber Security Authority
    12th July 2022
    3rd Floor, NCA Tower
    KIA, 6 Airport By-pass Rd, Accra | Digital Address: Gl-126-7029 | Tel: 0303 972530, 0303 972531
    pall: info@esa.gov ah Website: www.cI.gov.gh

SOURCE: Myjoyonline

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