Thirty percent of people who suffered phishing and other cyber scams while using classifieds website Dubizzle never reported or took action against it, according to a new survey.
This is despite the survey finding that half of those who knew what ‘phishing’ meant said they had been victims of it in the past.
‘Phishing’ is when hackers attempt to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details from internet users through bogus electronic communication.
Dubizzle asked users for their thoughts on phishing and other types of online scams to raise awareness of the issue.
The website claimed that 45.9 percent of Dubizzle users who had heard of phishing said they had been victims of such scams in the past – and a third of those said they did not report it when it happened to them.
However, 16.8 percent of survey respondents said they were unaware of the meaning of phishing.
The main reason that prompted users to suspect a scam on Dubizzle was that the offer was “too good to be true”. This was the case for more than half (54.4 percent) of respondents, Dubizzle said. A little more than a quarter (27.8 percent) of respondents said the seller’s information seeming suspicious was their key reason for suspecting a scam.
There have been more than 11,500 internet security breaches in the UAE over the past three years, according to a Gemalto report cited by Dubizzle.
“From our poll, we have learnt that some Dubizzle users have suspected a scam on our platform and 30.8 percent of these did not take any action to report the scam,” said Salma Anabtawi, customer support manager at Dubizzle.
“With 30.8 percent suspecting scams on Dubizzle Jobs and 27.6 percent on Dubizzle Motors, it is paramount that we empower our users with information that allows them to avoid becoming a victim, and encourage them to alert us when they feel they may be at risk.”
Dubizzle Motors has responded to heightened internet safety threats by launching a one-time verification code feature to curb online scam.
Anabtawi added: “It’s easy to become a victim of a phishing scam as most scammers pose as genuine employees, buyers or sellers.
“Making contact information available helps connect with those listing a job or an ad faster, however this has its downside as it makes users more vulnerable to fraudulent activities.
“We always advise that Dubizzle users are cautious when utilising the platform and look out for any suspicious behaviour such as frequent changes in contact details or requests for financial information.”
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