26 October 2016Last updated

Features | People

How to avoid being scammed

2 million people in the UAE have experienced some form of cyber-attack costing Dh 4.9 billion

2 Feb 2016 | 05:14 pm

Have you ever been scammed while booking a ticket online for your favourite show? Many of us who wake up late to the offers turn to online resellers, vendors or smartphone apps. And that’s where the scams happen. Fake sites out to steal your personal and banking information lurk in these dark corners.

Norton’s global ‘Norton Cybersecurity Insights Report’ released in November 2015 found that more than 2 million individuals in the UAE have experienced some form of cyber-attack. The cost of such breaches amounted to over Dh 4.9 billion.

So, how do you avoid these pitfalls?

‘Checking if these sources are certified is important in order to avoid ticket scams or online hacks,’ says Tamim Taufiq, Head of Norton by Symantec in the Middle East.

So, what kind of scams should fans look out for while booking tickets online for events or concerts?

Here’s what Tamim advises:

Look out for fake websites

Various fake websites will pose as legitimate ticket vendors while attempting to steal financial information. To ensure that you are not being scammed, either look for trust marks such as the Norton secured seal to verify that the site can be trusted or navigate directly to the event’s social media page. Be wary of any message that asks you to fill out a form or provide any personal information.

Hoax offers

If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. Unreasonably good deals with low prices are most likely scams. One should always be cautious of special offer VIP, early bird or free tickets in general. These sort of scams can also show up on social networking sites like Facebook as well.

Deceitful refunds

If you’re purchasing your ticket online be on the lookout for spam phishing emails for fake refunds. It could look like it’s from a legitimate vendor and say something like ‘wrong transaction’ or ‘click for refund’ but the culprits just want you to click through, surrender your details or open your device up to malware.

Why keeping your device safe while enjoying outdoor events is important

Most events take up our social media timelines with updates from attendees because, are you really there if you don’t post about it? It’s fun to have your smartphone with you, especially if you’re enjoying yourself at a music concert or festival. We take photos, post on social media, connect with friends, and search in real-time for information about our favourite bands and entertainers. And as we do that, the security risks to our device increase.


Tips on how to protect your device:


Beware before you share – Be careful before posting your real-time location or photos to social networks. While seemingly harmless it can let others know that you’re preoccupied or away from home.


Complicate things - Prior to the event protect your device with a complex password. For example, strong passwords use a mixture of numbers, symbols, and letters in upper and lower case.


Think twice before checking your email or bank account on unsafe hotspot – Cyber criminals can sniff private information from unsecured networks. Be sure to use a trusted web browser or wait until you’re on a protected network before conducting any potentially sensitive activities.


Better safe than sorry – If your device is stolen or lost, you can remotely locate, lock and even wipe it to prevent anyone from accessing your personal data.