January 23, 2021 | 5:00 am
He phishing o Identity theft is one of the most common cyber scams. Through this method, criminals steal personal data to access bank accounts and credit card numbers, and thus defraud users.
Cybercriminals use different avenues to commit phishing, but undoubtedly the most widely used continues to be e-mails, which pretend to be messages from official entities, which incite recipients to click on links or open malicious files.
Often, public and private institutions warn about the diffusion of suspicious emails so that people avoid falling for this type of scam.
Despite these warnings, according to research carried out by the global cybersecurity company Kaspersky, in conjunction with the market research consultancy CORPA, showed that, on average, 38% of Latin Americans do not know how to distinguish a true email from a false one and In this sense, those who do it the least are Peruvians, with 53%.
Further behind are Colombians (42%), Mexicans (38%), Chileans (35%), Argentines (32%) and, finally, Brazilians (30%).
A similar figure was obtained when users were asked what they would do if they received an email to participate for two fully paid tickets to the Caribbean, where the logo of a major airline was displayed.
Of those surveyed, a third (37%) would be suspicious and for no reason would click on the link included in the e-mail, while 46% would doubt and first check on the internet whether the contest is real or not. Meanwhile, 15% would verify the URL and then access the link.
Annoyance and distrust
The study also showed that, in the case of receiving a questionable text message (SMS) on the cell phone indicating, for example, that the checking account has been hacked together with a link to verify its status, Latin Americans seem to better recognize a possible scam and act more cautiously, since 33% claim to erase or ignore these contents, while 65% call the bank directly to verify the information.
The investigation also showed that users in the region distrust advertising links for suspicion that they contain viruses, and in that sense, those who doubt the most are Argentines, with 44%, and Chileans, with 42%. Further behind are Brazilians (39%), Mexicans (38%), Peruvians (33%) and Colombians (31%).
Some of these emails are easy to spot as they include misspellings, sloppy grammar, unprofessional graphics, and overly generic greetings. However, we have detected more sophisticated emails that are capable of fooling even the most cautious users
Roberto Martínez, Senior Security Analyst at Kaspersky
Martinez commented that is It is important to remain alert and not lower your guard, especially when receiving emails or messages that appear to come from official entities and communicate an urgency, such as an offer available to a limited number of users or threaten the recipient with fines if he does not take the required action to as soon as possible.
“The best thing is to distrust and verify directly with the official entity, especially when those emails include attachments or links, or ask to verify the e-mail address or other personal information,” said Martínez.