Financial services providers are continuously ramping up efforts to combat fraud with cutting-edge technology, but even with all this effort, end-users of financial products can and should actively participate in fraud prevention to make it even more difficult for criminals.
Giuseppe Virgillito, FNB Head of Digital Banking, says, “The simplest way for consumers and businesses to support fraud prevention is to pay attention to fraud education and updates from service providers. Keeping up to date on the latest scams can be difficult for an end-user, so it makes sense to use tips that financial services providers share on a regular basis. For example, at FNB, we monitor scams on a daily basis, and we use digital channels such as the FNB App and Online Banking to alert our customers on what to look out for and how to avoid being scammed.”
To help consumers and businesses avoid being scammed, Virgillito shares some of the current scams and tips to help protect yourself:
Lost/stolen device: The fraudster sends a message to the victim in order to ‘assist’ them in locating their recently stolen device. The fraudster usually claims that by clicking on the embedded link provided by the fraudster, the victim will be able to locate the device. If your device is lost or stolen, the first step is to delink your device from your App, block your banking profile, and contact your bank for assistance.
Remote access: Be wary of random requests to install software on personal or business devices, as this tactic can be used to install malicious software in order to access your banking profiles. This is known as a “remote access” scam, and if you suspect you are a victim, block your profile immediately and contact your bank.
SIM-swap: While app-based Smart InContact from banks like FNB helps customers avoid SIM swaps, some customers still rely on SMS notifications. A SIM swap occurs when a fraudster transfers your phone number to another service provider in order to control your SMS notifications. This enables them to control notifications such as a One-Time-PIN (OTP) in order to commit fraud. Again, it is critical to think about using Smart InContact and to never share your OTP.
SMS scam: Fraudsters are sending SMS’s asking customers to share their banking credentials (username and password) to deactivate their online or app banking profile and advise customers to only share this with the “bank consultant” assisting you with reversals – banks will never ask you to share your banking credentials with them.
Social Engineering: This is the umbrella term used for a variety of malicious attempts deployed through human interaction to manipulate and trick people into making security mistakes or giving away sensitive information by working on their emotions. Some of these include Vishing and Phishing.
Vishing: This is a type of fraud in which fraudsters pose as employees of a financial institution and attempt to persuade you to share your personal and banking information over the phone. The golden rule is that a reputable financial services provider will never ask you to share information such as your PIN or passwords over the phone or through any other channel. Financial institutions will also never ask a customer to perform a transaction to reverse a transaction. End such calls right away.
Phishing: Despite the fact that this is one of the most common scams, many people still fall for it. Phishing occurs when fraudsters send you a link that directs you to a fake website where you enter your financial or personal information. If you must visit a financial institution’s or a service provider’s website, type their web address into the URL rather than clicking on links.
Social Media scams: Fraudsters use social media to offer low-interest rate loans or crypto investment opportunities with high returns. They request your banking details and use these to defraud you. Never share your banking credentials. Use reputable service providers and beware of unsolicited offers.
“Fraud prevention requires collaboration between providers of services and end-users because fraudsters will always target the most vulnerable element. As FNB, we will continue to use our digital platform and channels to educate customers on the most recent fraud schemes. Customers can block their profile, report fraud or get more information on the latest scams from our “Security Centre’ on the FNB App and Online Banking” says Virgillito.
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