Over the past six months, 45% of digital buyers in Ukraine have faced online fraud attempts. This figure is congruent with the activity of cyber criminals in the EU.

OLX Ukraine, together with OLX Group colleagues from four countries, held parallel online surveys on Internet safety among 100,000 respondents. They showed that since 2020, the number of cyber attacks against Ukrainians has doubled. At the same time, users from all countries, where surveys were conducted, still do not want to report cyber crime during shopping to the police.

In particular, since 2020, the number of Ukrainians who suffered from fraud during any kind of shopping on the Internet increased from 22% to 45%, leaving behind residents of Bulgaria and Portugal whose figure is 40%. However, Ukraine is not the top cyber fraud victim. For example, 50% of users in Poland came across phishing, in Romania, 60%.

At the same time, the residents of Romania are most aware (79%) of fraud with fake sites (phishing against buyers and sellers). In Ukraine, this figure is 48%, in Poland, 54%.

Ukrainians became more attentive

It is important to note that 76% of Ukrainians, who faced phishing in 2021, have not lost money due to attentiveness, knowledge of rules, and timely contact with the support team. In 2020, the figure was 14% lower, i.e. 62% of Ukrainians did not lose their money.

Compared to a similar OLX survey in 2020, the share of Ukrainians who report such crimes to the police significantly decreased. However, having faced a scam, representatives of the mentioned EU countries and Ukraine behave identically: the majority will try to solve the problem on their own, and only one in 10 will report it to police or local authorities.

What do you do if you face fraud on the Internet?

(Choose a few options)

Ukraine Poland Bulgaria Portugal Romania
I contact website’s support team 17% 24% 13% 14% 17%
I call the police 10% 9% 10% 10% 13%
I do nothing 26% 19% 77% 76% 70%

Where do malicious links come from?

Interestingly, in most cases, Poles and Ukrainians get malicious links via messengers:

  • In Poland, 83% of respondents received malicious links in WhatsApp; in Ukraine, 83% of all attacks came via Viber
  • Only 6% of respondents in Ukraine and 18% of respondents in Poland received phishing links
  • 2% of respondents in Ukraine and 10% of respondents in Poland were attacked through spam emails

In addition, 59% of users in Romania, Portugal, and Bulgaria answered that they stopped the conversation after receiving a phishing link. Respondents in Poland know that they should not disclose their payment information to third parties (79%) or open links from little-known people (75%).

“In general, according to the World Economic Forum, cyber threats are already among five major risks to the global economy. A low level of trust and the relatively small number of reports to the police, both in the EU and in Ukraine, create a favourable environment for fraudulent actions. Now, 40% of Ukrainians know that links received from little-known people can be fraudulent attacks, and they do not open such links and do not discuss financial issues in messengers. At the same time, 75% of users in Poland have such knowledge. So, Ukrainians definitely have room for improvement in terms of personal cyber literacy,” said Viktor Nobuz, head of the OLX Ukraine Business Analytics Department.

Natalia Tolub

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