Ja­maican banks unite against cy­ber­crime

Jamaica Gleaner - - BUSINESS -

JA­MAICA’S BANK­ING sec­tor is rolling out a cam­paign meant to make cus­tomers more alert to and mindful of on­line se­cu­rity to safe­guard their fi­nances amid ris­ing cy­ber­at­tacks that ap­pear to be grow­ing more so­phis­ti­cated.

The ini­tia­tive dubbed Pro­tect Your­self On­line! is a col­lab­o­ra­tion of CIBC FirstCaribbean In­ter­na­tional Bank, First Global Bank, JMMB Mer­chant Bank, the Na­tional Com­mer­cial Bank Ja­maica, Sagi­cor Bank and Sco­tia­bank Ja­maica.

The cam­paign, which urges bank clients to ‘stop and think be­fore you click’ while ex­e­cut­ing elec­tronic trans­ac­tions, was launched Septem­ber 30 on the eve of cy­ber­se­cu­rity aware­ness month.

“The cam­paign seeks to raise aware­ness among Ja­maicans about pos­si­ble on­line threats to their ac­counts and fi­nances and em­pow­ers cus­tomers, through ed­u­ca­tion, to en­able them to de­velop good on­line-safety habits,” said the banks in a state­ment.

The cam­paign also pro­vided tips on what cus­tomers should look for and how to se­cure their on­line trans­ac­tions. Here’s what the banks say you need to know in the words of the cam­paign:


Re­search into scam­ming trends has high­lighted dif­fer­ent points of ac­cess and mul­ti­ple ap­proaches to com­pro­mis­ing the se­cu­rity of elec­tronic chan­nels. Those iden­ti­fied as preva­lent in Ja­maica in­clude ABM/card fraud and phish­ing scams.

Skim­ming of both debit and credit cards is on the rise as in­for­ma­tion stored on the mag­netic tape at the back of cards is lifted us­ing an elec­tronic de­vice known as a skim­mer. Once col­lected, the in­for­ma­tion is often used to clone cards, pro­vid­ing ac­cess to with­draw money from your ac­count or make pur­chases.

ABMs are also un­der threat. Here are some tips cus­tomers can use to help safe­guard them­selves:

Con­sumers are en­cour­aged to in­spect the ma­chine for items that may have been in­stalled over or around the PIN pad. It is im­por­tant to avoid ABMs that have at­tach­ments pointed in the di­rec­tion of the PIN pad. This may be used to house a cam­era and record your PIN.

Once in­side an ABM, lightly pull the card slot to un­cover signs of tam­per­ing, which in­clude a loose or de­tached card slot, or the pres­ence of dou­ble-sided tape that may be used by skim­mers to en­sure quick and easy re­moval. An ABM show­ing signs of pos­si­ble tam­per­ing should be avoided at all costs and re­ported.

If the in­fra­struc­ture ap­pears un­tam­pered, cau­tion must still be ex­er­cised. it is help­ful to use the un­oc­cu­pied hand to cover the hand en­ter­ing the PIN on a key­pad. This can pre­vent record­ing by pin­hole cam­eras. Cus­tomers are also ad­vised to be aware of the ABM’s sur­round­ings and any pos­si­ble loi­ter­ers. Ad­di­tion­ally, ac­cept­ing as­sis­tance from strangers when us­ing ABMs can be dan­ger­ous.


Phish­ing, on the other hand, takes place when a per­son sends an email re­quest­ing per­sonal in­for­ma­tion with the aim to use it to gain ac­cess to bank ac­counts and carry out other il­le­gal ac­tiv­i­ties.

Such emails can hold cor­po­rate lo­gos, links to false web­sites, re­quests for users to up­date or con­firm pri­vate in­for­ma­tion and sug­ges­tions of con­se­quences for not fol­low­ing in­cluded in­struc­tions.

It is ad­vis­able that sus­pi­cious emails and any links they con­tain be ig­nored.

For more on the cam­paign and se­cu­rity tips, visit www.stop­thinkcon­nect.org.jm.

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