A new survey by Febraban (Brazilian Federation of Banks) found that almost half of Brazilians have already suffered some attempted coup via calls or messages via social networks during the pandemic. Most are afraid of falling prey to financial scams by internet criminals.
Scams by messages or calls reach 43%
The Febraban study, prepared in conjunction with Ipespe (Institute for Social, Political and Economic Research), aims to assess how security measures related to accounts withstood the pandemic, a period that saw an increase in digital crimes.
Answers were collected from 3,000 Brazilians from the five regions of the country, between the 18th and 25th of June. According to 9 out of 10 respondents, data crimes and cybersecurity increased during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the last 5 years, Brazilians have had family, friends and close people who have fallen into such scams. According to the study, 43% were victims of messages or phone calls made by criminals requesting sensitive data to unlock bank accounts.
Frames involving deposits or transfers to friends or relatives reached a third of Brazilians (34%). In addition to this type of scam, 29% said they were victims of improper purchases using debit or credit cards, and 18% had email accounts or social networks hacked — the same percentage of those who had their WhatsApp number cloned by criminals. Authorities recently warned of the Pix Scheduled scam to snare data.
Internet scams scare most Brazilians — 81% say they fear being a victim of this type of crime. While Brazilian companies have adapted to comply with laws such as the LGPD, which require protection of customer data online, a third say they are more insecure about the information they share online today than they were 5 years ago — 54% expect improvements in the next 5.
Providing data is riskier for 56%
But digital scams create a bad impression of online services: for 56% of respondents, the risks of delivering data do not outweigh the benefits offered by companies. Only 12% feel advantaged for offering information in registrations.
Febraban also asked Brazilians about which activity poses the greatest risks resulting in data leakage. For 35%, the biggest danger is online shopping, while 33% say their information is leaked during a simple web search.
Laws that guarantee consumer protection online are seen as lenient by Brazilians. Half say current data safeguard legislation is ineffective, while 16% say it is totally ineffective.
Trust in private companies is greater than in government
The credibility of data subjects in the Federal Government is also mixed: 48% say they do not trust the entity with the treatment of their information – the same percentage of those who do not trust state governments. The degree of distrust in city halls is lower: 46%.
About the private sector, 7 out of 10 Brazilians say they trust companies to manage their data securely — the survey shows that this confidence grew 42% in year-on-year comparison with 2020
The perception that cybercrime is happening more often is not limited to opinion polls. Febreban pointed out in a report released in the first half that phishing scams, in which criminals baited messages to steal data, had doubled. This year, scammers posing as banks or financial agents increased by 340% compared to 2020.
The president of Febraban, Isaac Sidney, says the survey highlights how Brazilians are increasingly vigilant regarding the use of their own data:
“Digital security is an issue that society needs to face up to and is already doing it, as these crimes affect people and companies on a daily basis, gain space in the economic, political and police news, involving not only the citizen, but also large corporations and public institutions and private. A good indicator of the survey is that Brazilians are aware, especially regarding the use that private companies make of their personal data.”
The president of the IPESP Science Council, Antonio Lavareda, highlights as an encouraging result the confidence of Brazilians in companies that process data, despite the suspicion of almost half of the population about the benefits this brings, considering the risks.