By Namugerwa Martha

Interpol has warned the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) of the high and rapid growth of internet theft which is usually done by internet hackers usually to businesses which send money abroad.

Directorates of Interpol and criminal investigations spokesperson Mr. Vincent Ssekate said that shs 8 billion is reported to have been stolen from SMEs and individuals and at least 30 cases of hacking of companies were reported last year alone.

“We are noticing an upsurge of emails compromise crimes where millions if not billions of shillings are being defrauded from many companies and individuals especially those who transact businesses beyond our borders,” Ssekate said yesterday.

He added that hackers are targeting SMEs and individuals because some of them lack expertise in ICT to detect or know that their emails are hacked.

“SMEs managers should always link up with the suppliers abroad on telephone for confirmation before making payments online, typically, the firm will be aware of the fraud only when they are following up on the invoice which is usually done a day or weeks after,” Ssekate added

He further added that most hackers who are involved in those cases are normally abroad because internet has made the world a global village whereby you can use a computer to access anything even buying things at home which makes it harder for the police to nail the culprits.

“2014 annual crime report states that shs 11 billion was lost in email hacking alone and its reported that hackers divert the money they steal to other accounts in different countries like China, Japan,  United Kingdom and many others,” Ssekate added.