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Kaspersky reveals UAE’s top four email scams

Phishing emails increased by 77% quarter over quarter

Kaspersky reveals UAE’s top four email scams
[Source photo: Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

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Kaspersky has identified the top four email scams targeting people in the UAE that are becoming increasingly common. The country recorded a steep increase in emails containing phishing threats in Q2 2023 – a 77% increase compared to the previous quarter.

The cybersecurity company said that phishing emails use four methods in the UAE and other countries of the region, including emails involving undelivered parcels; people receive emails or text messages from postal and courier services, which appear to be legitimate. 

The emails or text messages may ask the recipient to confirm payment or to unsubscribe from a service. 

However, if the recipient clicks on the links in these emails or text messages, they will be redirected to a fake page that steals their sensitive information. 

Next comes Know Your Customer (KYC), in which cybercriminals impersonate legitimate banks and ask people to provide their personal information to complete KYC verification. This information can then be used to commit identity theft or other crimes.

Another type of scam comes as “Unusual email account log-in activity” alerts, where cybercriminals send emails claiming unusual activity in your email account, including country, IP address, date, and browser. 

They hope to trick you into clicking a link that steals your personal information. This scam is more successful during the travel season.

Lastly is the “Free Money” scam, where cybercriminals send emails with malicious attachments that appear to be related to money deposits. When opened, the attachments redirect victims to fake Microsoft Outlook pages that steal their email credentials.

According to Kasperky’s Spam and Phishing in 2022 report, 48.63% of all emails worldwide were spam. The report also explored 2022’s prominent phishing scams, as some phishing emails used popular global events such as movie and show releases to trick people into paying for early access. Similar scams offered free FIFA World Cup broadcasts.

Other scams used COVID-19 themes to trick people into giving up their personal information. They also targeted cryptocurrency wallets, hoping to steal users’ seed phrases.

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