Fraudsters are finding creative ways to scam the public, and it’s becoming more common to click on that dodgy link or open that convincing email, that’s just how advance their methods of scamming have become.
However, it’s important to remain on guard at all times, especially when using transactional, card-based accounts. This is according to the financial group, Old Mutual, who warns that customers should be on the lookout for phishing and fishing scams as these are the most common methods to obtain valuable information needed to access bank accounts.
Vijay Naidoo, Chief Information Officer at Old Mutual Finance said: “Scammers are continually finding new ways to gain access to personal banking information and use it to defraud unsuspecting customers. So, banks need to continually upgrade their security systems, while consumers need to be informed and alert.
“The more informed you are about the possible risks of digital banking; you are more likely to reduce the possibility of your personal information being compromised,” he added.
BusinessTech outlines the concept of ‘phishing’ and ‘vishing’, and explains what to look out for:
Phishing describes a cyber attack which involves sending what appears to be an official email notification from a person or company that the victim might actually do business with.
Once you open the message, the malware is installed on your digital device and important account information is transmitted back to the criminal who can access your account.
So how do you identify what a suspicious email looks like?
- Look out for emails that invite you to click on a link in order to update your personal details.
- Watch out for emails that urge you to respond with haste.
- Even though some emails may contain a financial institution’s logo, the email might end in ‘@gmail.com’ or another domain. A credible financial service provider would never use an address like this.
“Many phishing emails are designed to spark anxiety and panic. They often state that a suspicious transaction has taken place on your account or that an account will be closed if immediate action is not taken.
“The number one rule is simple: do not open emails that appear suspicious and do not respond to emails that contain threats. Reputable companies would never send those type of emails. Delete the message, or phone the bank or business – use a number you know or have saved – and check if they sent the mail,” said Naidoo.
Vishing involves scammers making personal contact by phone or via a pre-recorded message to get you to release personal information.
A typical example is a phone call from someone pretending to work at the bank or company that you use asking you for information to update their records or fix a problem with your account while other approaches pass on ‘good news’ about special offers or unexpected payments coming your way.
“Usually, the tricksters will ask for login details to fix the problem, or they will ask for a new payment to be made. The safest thing to do is to end the call immediately and phone the customer service line to find out if it was a genuine request.”
Before responding, rather contact your service provider’s call centre directly to check if it’s true, Old Mutual said.
Safeguard tips to bear in mind include:
- Blocking your card as soon as you find out that your information has been compromised or your card its lost.
- Two-factor authentication for online purchases. This means that before any online transaction can be made on your Old Mutual Money Account, for example, you will receive an SMS message on your cell phone to authenticate or confirm the transaction
- Biometrics that require you to supply your ‘touch ID’ on your cell phone to authenticate a transaction on your account