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Digital banking: watch out for top 8 scams

The growth of digital banking through multiple channels is forcing banks to go an extra-mile to protect their customers. Yolande Steyn, head of Innovation at South Africa-based First National Bank (FNB) said her organisation viewed security as an integral part of a seamless online banking experience.

Therefore, she added, due to the prevalence of banking scams, FNB is urging consumers to be more vigilant and familiarise themselves with the different types of online banking fraud. Steyn has unpacked the following list of eight top scams to look out for:

Social media scams

Beware of fraudsters pretending to represent FNB or RB Jacobs on social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, WhatsApp or any other social media platform. Banks do not ask the client’s credit or cheque card, account number, online banking login details or password or One Time PIN (OTP) on social media platforms.

Change of banking details scams

You will receive an email that pretends to come from one of your suppliers asking you to update your banking details. Beware of this even if it is on the supplier’s letterhead. Selecting the link will redirect you to a fake FNB website that has an ‘Update and Confirm Details’. This is where fraudsters will now be in a position to access your banking profile.

419 scams

It usually comes in a form of an e-mail making an offer that would result in a large pay off for the recipient. The email asks you for your banking details to deposit the sum of money. The transfer will never be made but the fraudsters will have access to your bank details and start withdrawing money from it. Simply ignore these emails or delete them. Some say the scam is said to have originated from Nigeria and spread throughout West Africa.

Flight purchase debit scams

An SMS informs you of a flight purchase debited to your account. Fraudsters will request you to select a link in the SMS to revise the transaction. Also, ignore such SMSes and delete them.

Copy of payment notification scams

An email will request you to open a copy of your payment notification. Fraudsters will prompt you to login via the email attachment. Again be careful and ignore such emails.

Vishing and smishing scams

It is called phishing. You receive an SMS or a phone call, whereby a fake employee of a certain bank or company asks you to disclose your personal information such as ID number, address, account number, username, login details, password and PIN. Just ignore the whole thing.

One Time Pins (OTP) email fraud

Criminals try to get access to your email accounts by producing fake login sites that look like Gmail or Yahoo. Once they have your email username and password, they have access to your emails (statements, personal communications), they can build a social profile of you, can intercept One Time Pins (OTPs) sent by email.

OTP SIM Swop Fraud

Once criminals are in possession of your username and password, they can easily access your accounts on Online Banking. They can also contact your service provider to do a Sim Swop which basically means that they hijack your sim and have access to your SMS. This also gives them access to your Pin.

Lesson to remember
Most banks never ask for customers’ username, password or PIN in an email, SMS, social media or phone call. Never select a link to your bank’s website that was sent via email. Always type in your bank’s web address.

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