Digicel urges public to be vigilant against online scams

TO combat the spike in phishing scams, Digicel is stepping up its efforts to block bogus online offers to its customers. The company is also educating customers about how to spot fake, unsolicited offers for them to win cash or other prizes online.

Over the past few weeks the digital operator has detected an upsurge in phony online offers purporting to originate from Digicel.

Scammers send bogus messages to encourage recipients to click on a link to a fake website or to participate in a dodgy offer, in the hope of gleaning valuable personal data on the recipient’s device or to plant a virus.

Public relations and communications manager for Digicel, Elon Parkinson warns “We want to strongly encourage customers not to click on these links that are designed to trick them into downloading a virus or malicious software, also known as malware. This kind of software can steal personal information from the user’s smartphone, laptop, or tablet.”

More recently some customers have been receiving and sharing, via WhatsApp and other media, an email notification and pop-up message advising them that their IP address has been selected to win a cash reward. Recipients are then encouraged to click a gift box or complete a survey to claim a prize.

Parkinson noted that the scammers have become cleverer in their activities: “Typically they’ll include a link to a page that is not the www.digiceljamaica.com website. The scammers will also make slight changes to the web address in order to trick unsuspecting persons by inserting a hyphen or substitute an ‘i’ for the number ‘1’, or changing letters from upper case to lower case.”

To help protect its customers from these tricks Digicel has been spotting and blocking the fake messages within 24 hours of notification.

Smartphone users in particular are being encouraged to verify Digicel’s current promotions before clicking. Persons can verify by visiting @DigicelJamaica on social media; asking Ruby, the digital customer care assistant in the MyDigicel app; or via www.digiceljamaica.com.

Parkinson concluded, “We’re advising customers not to share, but to instead ignore or delete all unsolicited messages.”

On Safer Internet Day in February, Digicel carried out an education campaign advocating for the safer practices and uses of the Internet, involving students and senior citizens.

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