Among Egyptians, 53% have faced at least one electronic scam, surpassing the global average of 52%, according to the “Visa’s 2023 Stay Secure Study” conducted by Wakefield Research in collaboration with Visa.
Additionally, 14% of those affected reported experiencing multiple instances of deception, which is just slightly below the global average of 15%.
The study focused on countries within the Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (CEMEA) region and is part of Visa’s annual Stay Secure Campaign, which aims to enhance consumer awareness about online threats while advocating for secure and seamless digital payment experiences.
The study revealed that internet users who perceive themselves as internet literate are more likely to respond to scam attempts. Furthermore, the study indicated that a significant percentage (47% in Egypt, compared to the global average of 52%) expressed concerns about their friends or family members falling victim to scam emails offering free gift cards or products from online shopping sites. In addition, approximately 47% (compared to 36% globally) of respondents were worried about children, minors, and retired individuals becoming targets of online scams.
Surprisingly, the study found that the majority of respondents (91% in Egypt versus 90% globally) tend to disregard warning signs of potential online criminal activity.
Leila Serhan, senior vice President and Group Country Manager for North Africa, Levant, and Pakistan (NALP) at Visa, emphasized the evolving sophistication of scams in today’s digital world. Serhan noted that scammers are employing increasingly persuasive tactics, such as fake parcel delivery notices, false claims of expired subscriptions, or enticing vouchers for popular brands, to deceive their victims. She stressed the importance of consumer caution and understanding the language of fraud, especially with the rapid growth in digital payments.
Egypt has taken significant steps to enhance cybersecurity in both the banking and information and communication technology (ICT) sectors, aligning with Egypt’s Vision 2023 and digital transformation policies. The Central Bank of Egypt has implemented a comprehensive strategy to address cybersecurity threats, including establishing dedicated entities to tackle these challenges, enhancing technical capabilities, raising awareness, and regularly assessing cyber risks. On the ICT front, Egypt established the Supreme Council for Cybersecurity in 2014 to protect government bodies and the broader community from cyber threats.