Tuesday 2020-01-21

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ESWATINI LOSES E49M DUE TO CYBERCRIME

By Bongumusa Simelane | 2019-12-03

A sum of E49 million was lost in the country due to cyber related crimes this year.

This was revealed by Senior Superintendent Nicholas Jele from the Royal Eswatini Police Fraud department. He said cybercrimes had increased this year and this was worrying.

He said in 2018 they dealt with 18 cybercrimes but this year they had increased to 25.

Jele said the value of these crimes was very high as it totals E49 million. “This is a lot of money that has been lost and there is a need as a nation to stand up against such crimes,  especially at this time of the year,” he said.

However, Jele said a large chunk of the money has been recovered by the police and returned to those companies that were robbed.

He said investigations were at advanced stages but could not disclose more information as this can jeopardise the ongoing investigations.

He urged the nation to work cooperatively when it comes to these crimes with the relevant stakeholders such as the police. Jele added that cybercrimes affects everyone, including companies and even government.

“Cybercrime does not have boundaries so that is why robust measures need to be taken to deal with it,” he said.

He continued to warn against using free Wi-Fi for electronic transactions when people are visiting certain places.

He stated that a lot of chancers usually target such acts and people should be very careful. “We would like to urge the nation to make sure that they use safe and reliable websites and other online pages to avoid falling victim to fraudulent acts,” he added.

He said it was easy to see the fake websites. He said the genuine and reliable websites were identified with web address while the fake ones usually have grammatical mistakes.

Jele also warned those that will be visiting neighbouring countries to be wary when using ATMs during the festive season. He said other crimes often resulted in people using ATMs to withdraw money. He said one should make sure that he or she uses ATMs in public spaces not those in awkward places.

Jele then commended the partnership between the police and the Eswatini Bankers Association. He said during November, they had campaigns where they were sensitising the nation on cybercrime. He said the campaign was very successful and the response positive.

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