Protect against cybercrime, experts warn Seychelles' businesses, public
A representative from the Bankers Association, Norman Weber, said that to prevent loss of money through such interceptions, it is the responsibility of the businessman to verify the authenticity of the details being sent to them. (Victor/flickr) Photo License: CC-BY 2.0
(Seychelles News Agency) - Businessmen and the general public in Seychelles are being advised to take extra precautions when they make money transactions over the internet because of cybercrime.
Emails of some businessmen are being hacked by well-organized overseas criminals, and personal information is being stolen resulting in financial transactions not reaching their designated destination, experts in Seychelles told a news conference Wednesday.
A representative from the Bankers Association, Norman Weber, said that to prevent loss of money through such interceptions, it is the responsibility of the businessman to verify the authenticity of the details being sent to them.
“It is important to know the supplier you are dealing with. If you get new instructions related to a bank transfer through emails, it does not cost much to place a call to verify the information,” said Weber.
Another popular scam that has come to the attention of the police is the fake profile on social media, especially Facebook, in which criminals are offering attractive loans to potential victims. Members of the public are advised not to get into contact with the scammers on Facebook.
Before you receive the loan "you will have to pay legal fees and administrative fees. By the time you realize [this is a scam] you would have lost a lot of money,” said the director of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of Seychelles, Philip Moustache.
Moustache said the red flag is that such transactions are never made through the bank as the scammers ask for the money to be transferred through Western Union or Moneygram, -- making it harder to trace.
The police said Wednesday that they have received eight reported cases this year where locals were victims of internet fraud and lost large amounts of money. Last year, 18 such cases were recorded.
So far, there have been no reports related to transactions made on PayPal and eBay.
“Investigations carried out has shown that these activities are being carried out by people in foreign countries and for that reason it is almost impossible for the local police to fight against these types of crimes as we do not have jurisdiction in those countries,” said Commissioner of Police Reginald Elizabeth.
As it is difficult to carry out investigation in these countries, by the time Interpol is involved, the money trail has gone cold and the money withdrawn from the bank account.
The Central Bank of Seychelles (CBS) is working closely with the local police and the Bankers Association to put in place a programme to sensitize the public on such transactions.
The Deputy Governor of Central Bank, Christopher Edmond, said the “bank is looking for a cyber-security consultant to carry out an evaluation on its system in place to make sure that these frauds do not happen in the jurisdiction of Seychelles.”
He added that the Central Bank "is putting in place a set of standards for commercial banks to adopt which will help prevent cyber attacks.”