Phishing, Vishing and SMishing are some of the ways that criminals are using to steal your cash
Popular money scams to watch out for
CRIMINALS are getting more sophisticated and smarter by the day. They are moving with the times, having found a playground in digital platforms. Since security measures put in place by banks often make it difficult for criminals to steal money, they often target bank clients using internet banking.
CYBER CRIMINAL OPERATIONS
The Digital Banking Crime Statistics show that bank clients lost more than R250-million in the internet space last year, and there has already been a 64 per cent increase this year.
Kalyani Pillay, the CEO of South African Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC), explains that criminals see bank clients as the weakest link, and play at that. She further goes on to describe criminals as being very well-skilled social engineers, and says they can easily manipulate victims into divulging their confidential information.
“They capitalise on the fact that not all digital banking clients are digitally literate and exploit this vulnerability,” Kalyani explains.
She lists the infamous measures criminals use to make bank clients divulge personal information:
Phishing – They send a spoofy email that requires you to click on an icon that will lead you to a fake website. The websites look legit and are used to trick you into sharing, updating or verifying your financial details. The minute you put in your confidential information, your money is gone.
Vishing – Criminals may call you posing as bank
officials. They play at your emotions and may scare you into thinking that someone is trying to access your account. They will trick you into revealing sensitive details, thinking that you are verifying that you are the rightful owner.
SMishing – This tactic is similar to phishing, besides that they use SMS. The SMS requires that you call a number or download a link. Once you click or call the number, criminals get hold of your details.
HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF
Kalyani says although scams are nothing new, criminals find new ways to trick bank clients by using the slickness, convenience and efficiency of digital platforms to their advantage.
When it comes to Phishing, Vishing and SMishing, even the smartest person can get tricked.
SABRIC has five top tips to help you protect yourself:
Do not click on links or icons from spam emails and never reply to these emails.
Do not believe the content of unsolicited emails, and if you are concerned about what is being alleged in the email, use your own contact details to get in touch with the sender and confirm.
If you want to access your bank’s website, type its address in the address bar of your browser.
Change your passwords often and create complicated passwords.
If you receive a call requesting confidential details, just end the call. Banks will never ask you to confirm a pin number or password.
Mpine Potsane, who is a financial consultant at Absa, says no bank will call you asking for your personal or banking details.
She agrees that criminals can be convincing, but urges bank clients to stop and think for a second before attempting to share their confidential information.
“Your personal information is confidential, not even your bank manager has or should have access to the information,” Mpine says.
Kalyani says even though the banks are not directly affected by cybercrime, they are exercising ways to fight it.
She explains that SABRIC is working with police and mobile network operators to fight the scourge. However, Kalyani says that bank clients are their money’s best protection.
“It is very important not to share confidential information with anyone else,” she says.