NATIONAL NEWS - Thanks to the lockdown even more people are now using digital platforms to work, shop and use banking services – something criminals use to their own advantage.
“Fraudsters are constantly looking for new ways to get to your information,” said Giuseppe Virgillito from FNB’s digital banking department, “When customers or businesses let their guard down in transacting or operating digitally, it, unfortunately, gives fraudsters more opportunity to commit their crimes.”
He said fraudsters would go to any means to get individuals or organisations to divulge their personal or financial information, often by tricking them with technology.
“Phishing is one of the main methods of social engineering employed by fraudsters. This is where a person is tricked into providing confidential information like PIN numbers or one-time PINs (OTPs), usually via email, or even the person’s cloud login details (usually via SMS).”
According to Virgillito, so-called vishing attacks were also on the rise, with fraudsters posing as bank representatives who would call the person and use scare tactics to convince their “target” that their money is at risk if they don’t share their account or card information.
“They even convince some people to make payments themselves, convincing them that this action will reverse the supposed fraud being committed (while actually the person is making payments to the fraudsters).”
“It’s not just individuals that are targets. Businesses are also at risk, with cyber criminals using various means to try and access their banking or customer data. The most typical methods include virus attacks via emails, public website hacks and exploiting software vulnerabilities to access stored data,” Virgillito said.
These criminals also prey on vulnerable people, such as the elderly.
“It is very important to remind senior family members or relatives to always be cautious of any communication they receive claiming to be from a bank or their mobile service provider, and to never share any of their OTPs, PINs or login details.
Tips on how to minimise your risk of falling victim to cybercrime:
- Never store banking or any other personal information on your smart device.
- Your bank will never ask you for PINs or OTP (ONE TIME PINs). OTPs are used to authorise specific actions or a transaction or payment resulting in money leaving your account.
- Your bank will never ask you to process a payment to reverse transactions.
- Carefully check all OTPs or app approval notifications before approving any transaction. Do not approve any payment for a transaction you are not aware of.
- Make sure that your banking app is updated to the latest version and that your notifications are switched on.
- Enable screen lock on your devices.
- If you have a business, invest in the best possible antivirus or security software and make sure your staff know not to open unsolicited emails without first checking them for viruses.
- Keep all business software updated and upgrade your technology as often as possible.
“The easiest way for a cyber-criminal to defraud you is if you fail to protect yourself or your business,” he said.