UAE one of top five most targeted countries by online fraudsters

Only Germany, Russia, the UK and Italy had more malicious spam mail-outs so far in 2018, says Kaspersky Lab report

Close up businessman typing on laptop. Getty Images

The UAE was the fifth most-targeted country in the world for malicious spam mail-outs, according to to a new report.

Only Germany, Russia, the UK and Italy ranked higher on the list, which was revealed in Kaspersky Lab's report Spam and Phishing in Q1 2018.

The report also showed there were more than 3.7 million attempts to obtain people’s personal data through fake social media pages in the first four months of this year.

The majority of the fake pages were Facebook accounts (60 per cent) followed by the Russian social media page Vkontakte (20.86 per cent).

Social network phishing is a form of cybercrime that involves the theft of personal data from a victim’s social network account.


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The fraudster creates a copy of a social networking website, such as a fake Facebook page, and tries to lure unsuspecting victims to it, forcing them to give up their personal data — such as their name, password, credit card number, PIN code, and more — in the process.

“The continuous increase in phishing attacks — targeting both social networks and financial organisations — shows us that users need to pay more serious attention to their online activities,” said Nadezhda Demidova, lead web content analyst at Kaspersky Lab.

“Despite the recent global scandals, people continue to click on unsafe links and allow unknown apps access to their personal data. Due to this lack of user vigilance, the data on a huge number of accounts gets lost or extorted from users. This can then lead to destructive attacks and a constant flow of money for the cybercriminals.”

Kaspersky offered a number of tips to help ensure that users are protected against phishing scams:

  • Always check the link address and the sender's email before clicking anything
  • Before clicking any link, check if the link address shown, is the same as the actual hyperlink
  • Only use a secure connection, especially when you visit sensitive websites. As a minimum precaution, do not use unknown or public Wi-Fi without a password protection. For maximum protection, use VPN solutions that encrypt your traffic
  • Never share your sensitive data, such as logins and passwords, bank card data etc., with a third party. Official companies will never ask for data like this via email
  • Use a reliable security solution with behaviour-based anti-phishing technologies, such as Kaspersky Total Security, to detect and block spam and phishing attacks