A global problem!
Fraudsters love to target people where it hurts the most – in their bank accounts. With the world becoming more connected thanks to the Internet, online scams have dramatically increased. It is often up to you to stay informed and vigilant when dealing with other individuals on the Internet.
Banks do their best in trying to provide the best security they can. Many offer free online tools to help you protect yourself against fraud. They post details of their websites’ latest scams and warnings on online banking profiles.
But is this enough?
Unfortunately, the correct answer is no. Fraudsters become more tricky in their always new ways to scam people.
Ok, let’s start with some basic prevention rules.
A bank will never ask you to provide personal details over an open forum. Your bank already has your details. The basic rule is never to respond to a scam email or phone calls, asking you to do things such as updating your information, clicking links, etc.
You stand to lose every cent you have!
It could be a scam if:
Phishing scams are a form of fraud scammers often use. They try to steal your personal information. You will be told things like: news that you have been a victim of fraud and must log in immediately, money has been received into your account, which needs to be confirmed, or you have received an IRS payment that needs to be confirmed without delay. The scammer would have an authentic-looking bank letter-head, with all the details you might be familiar with. Check the origin of the email. It will in no way be the same address as that of the bank.
Vishing scams are like phishing, except that you will be contacted by phone by someone who claims to be from your bank. He will actually try to get your bank details, like passwords and PINs, etc.
Smishing scams are phishing scams via SMS. This should also look like from your bank. You will be manipulated to share your personal information for one or another genuine sounding reason.
In this fraud, you are usually advised that you have inherited a fortune from a long-lost relative, who you actually have never heard of and actually doesn’t exist. It may also take the form of gigantic lotto winnings, and your details are needed for the deposit into your account. If you did not buy a ticket, you wouldn’t be a winner!
You could be offered a lot of money to make your account available to safe keep cash, usually from a foreign source. Bear in mind that the US Federal Treasury would institute a query if millions suddenly appeared in your account, so that is one commission promise that can never hold water. You will also be asked to pay an upfront fee for bank charges, exchange control fees, etc.
If you have a business selling goods online, beware of the fake payment confirmation from a bank, even with an authentic letter-head. Be vigilant of check payments that have not cleared. Transfers from other banks can take up to 48 hours to show in your account. Do not release any goods until the payment reflects in your account or until the check has cleared.
You actually see money in your account, usually a fake check that will bounce. You are notified that it is an incorrect payment into your account, which you must refund into an account detailed in the message. Do not take the bait. If there has been a mix-up, the bank can correct it without your help.
For those in business, this scam is like a plague. You may get a communication, which looks entirely official and genuine, from someone pretending to be a supplier, asking you to update your banking details to their database. Never do it! Beware, this scam can originate from your company, especially if someone wants to make a quick buck by providing a list of your suppliers to criminals.
Some things to help you identify scam emails are simple typographical errors, spelling mistakes, and other signs that the email was unprofessionally written.
The banks work long and hard to protect clients’ information and money. Bank clients trust the bank with their money, and it is a responsibility that all banks take seriously. They make use of a variety of security tools and systems to keep your information and accounts safe.
Here are some of the ways banks use to protect you.
Bear in mind that if you give your banking details away over the phone or in an email, you are putting your money at risk. If you are taken to the cleaners, you may not be reimbursed by the bank.
Don’t be fooled! Don’t share your personal details. The banks work tirelessly to protect you and your money. They appreciate and care about all their clients, big or small.
You can help them in their efforts by remaining ever-vigilant by taking care of your accounts and immediately reporting any suspected fraudulent activity.
The sooner they know about it – the sooner they will be able to help you.