Tips to overcome digital banking fraud this festive season

As the festive season draws near, cybercriminals will pull out all the tricks in the book to try to cheat consumers out of their hard earned cash.

“Cybercrime is becoming increasingly sophisticated, with fraudsters constantly finding new ways of carrying out their unlawful conduct, especially during busy periods, like the festive season.

“Consumers should, therefore, be extra vigilant with their banking information and login details at all times,” said Yolande Steyn, head of Innovation at FNB.

While the rapid growth of technology presents us with boundless opportunities, it also requires vigilance to prevent consumers and business being vulnerable to cybercrime.

She shared the following tips on how consumers can protect themselves against digital banking fraud this festive season:

* Always keep your PIN and password secure. If you think your PIN or password has been compromised, change it immediately.

* Remember to change your passwords and PINs regularly.

* Never use the same username and password for banking as you use on other apps and websites, like social media and email.

* Log on to your bank’s website by typing in the web address yourself instead of accessing it via Google search, as this may lead you to a spoofed site.

* Always do internet banking on a secure computer that you regularly use at home or work. Never do Online Banking in public areas such as Internet Cafe’s or shared computers, as you can never know what software is loaded that may compromise your transactions.

* Update your smartphone and computer with the latest software and app updates.

* Monitor your cellphone reception. If you have lost signal for an unusually long time, you may be a victim of sim swop fraud.

* Never open suspicious or unfamiliar e-mails or attachments, and never click on links in emails or SMSes. Criminals make emails and SMSes look legitimate and often bait you with scare tactics to confirm your account details or to login to prevent your account from being closed. They even incentivise you to win something or get something for free in order to get access to your account.

* Criminals may sometimes call you and pretend to be from your bank, service provider or a reputable retailer. During this conversation they may ask you to verify personal and banking information. It will be safer for you to hang up and call the company directly to verify if the call is legitimate.

* Only make online purchases with your card on reputable websites that are verified as secure sites.

* Never save usernames, passwords or PINs on your cellphone or computer as it may allow others to access your banking without your permission.

Although the above tips are by no means conclusive, they will go a long to ensure that consumers keep their money safe over the festive period.

“Taking the necessary measures to protect yourself against online banking fraud can give you peace of mind of knowing that you can have a stress-free festive season with your loved ones,” she said.

Carmen Norton

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