victim of banking email scams

Do not become a victim of banking email scams

Phishing emails that look like bank statements have been around for a while and come out in different versions and formats from time to time. The banks are aware of these phishing tactics and generally try to keep pace with the criminals by adding layers of security to internet banking.

Take note of the following tips when receiving suspicious emails;

  •  Do not click on links or icons in unsolicited emails. Do not reply to these emails, delete them immediately.
  •  Do not blindly believe the content of unsolicited emails. If you have doubts about an email’s origin, check by calling the entity that supposedly sent the email using a number you know to be genuine (not the number included in the email).
  •  Do not respond to emails that claim to be from your bank (or any other company) asking you to send your account details.
  •  Access your bank’s webpage by typing in the URL (the internet domain name) of your bank in the internet browser. Do not click on a link in an email.
  •  Check that you are on the genuine site before entering any personal information.
  •  If you think that you might have been compromised, contact your bank immediately.
  •  Create complicated passwords that are not easy to decipher, and change them often.
  •  Never use the same username and password for banking as you use for other apps, social media websites and online email accounts.
  •  Always do internet banking on a secure computer that you regularly use at home or work. Never bank online at public facilities such as at internet cafes, or on shared computers, because you do not know whether the software has been loaded that may compromise your transactions.
  •  Do download your bank’s free security software for your computer and/or smartphone.
  •  Do download the latest software and app updates for your computer and smartphone.
  •  Monitor your phone’s reception. If you have lost signal for an unusually long time, you may be a victim of SIM-swop fraud. Immediately call your bank’s fraud line to report a suspected SIM swop.
  •  Make online purchases with your card only on reputable websites that are verified as secure (look for the padlock icon in your browser and ensure that the address starts with https://).
  •  Never save usernames, passwords or PINs on your phone or computer, because this may allow others to access your banking details.

DEFINITIONS
Phishing: a method of deceitfully obtaining personal information such as passwords, identity numbers and credit card details by sending emails that appear to come from trusted sources, such as banks or legitimate companies.
SIM-swop: criminals gain access to your cellphone and extract the SIM card, replacing it with another one. They install your SIM card in a phone of their own, enabling them to receive one-time-passwords sent by your bank.

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Adapted from iol.co.za

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