The Cyber Security Authority (CSA) has cautioned the public not to transfer money or give out their personal information, bank account or credit/debit card details, and One-Time Password (OTP) to anyone, including family and friends.
The caution follows a worrying trend of increased reports of unauthorised access and online scams perpetrated through the takeover of social media accounts, particularly WhatsApp.
This was contained in a release issued by the CSA and copied to the Ghanaian Times in Accra on Monday.
The CSA said the compromised social media accounts were used to commit fraudulent activities such as investment fraud, online shopping scams, job recruitment scams, romance scams, and solicitation of funds, among others.
“A second trend has to do with a WhatsApp user being lured to expose his/her nudity over a video call with someone they think they know. The session is recorded by the other party (or an associate) without the knowledge of the victim then they begin to extort money from the victim in exchange for not releasing the video,” it added.
As such, the CSA has also urged the public never to share their social media application account verification codes with anyone.
“Protect all your social media application accounts by enabling the ‘Two-Step Verification’ or ‘Two-Factor authentication (2FA)’ feature,” it added.
Again, the authority has asked the public to beware of unusual requests from strangers or their social media contacts.
“Be wary of claims that you have won a prize, especially if you have not participated in any campaign or lucky draw. Check official websites to determine whether the lucky draw offers are legitimate,” it added.
The CSA further advised the general public to beware of persons with access to their phones as they could use their accounts without their permission.
“If you are contacted by anyone claiming to have images or videos of you in an intimate nature requesting a payment in exchange for not releasing them to the public, report it immediately to the CSA’s Incident Reporting Points of Contact for guidance. DO NOT make any payments,” the CSA emphasised.
BY TIMES REPORTER