The police’s cybercrime office said on Friday that there is an increase in reported Man in the Middle scams, a type of email fraud, and called on the public to be particularly careful in their financial transactions.
The Man in the Middle fraud occurs when a third party, the scammer, obtains access to emails, especially of companies, and intervenes in the communication between two parties engaged in commercial exchanges.
The scammer then redirects the emails and changes bank accounts and amounts involved in a commercial transaction, feigning that he/she is the real seller.
The outcome of the scam is the wiring of funds to bank accounts that do not belong to the beneficiary.
The police recommend that the public take the following preventive measures against this type of fraud:
- When they are asked to wire funds to an account that is different from the one they normally use, they should verify the request with the supplier by telephone or other form of communication.
- Change their email password regularly and use a two-step verification technique for access to their email.
- Use protection programmes for malware on their laptop and mobile devices and update them regularly.
- Do not click on links embedded in emails from unknown contacts as they may redirect to malicious websites or download malicious software.
- Regularly check the redirection settings of their email. If a redirection filter to an unknown email address is found to be active then they should delete the setting and contact the police.
- Regularly check the access history to their email and if an unknown connection is spotted take the necessary corrective action.
For further information or to report an incident, individuals and companies can refer to the cybercrime office at www.cyberalert.cy