Top Online Banking Scams and How to Avoid Being a Victim
With billions of daily users, the Internet has become more than just a luxury. Nowadays, when you want to connect with your friends or loved ones instantly or do tasks efficiently, you can do so online. But criminals and other people who are up to no good also recognize the potentials of the cyberspace to commit their illegal activities.
Online banking scams, with the advent of online shopping and banking, is just one of the many risks brought by technology. Convenience comes with risks, as your earnings, savings, and investments can be quickly taken away from you if you fall victim to scams.
Crimes are rampant on the Internet because it can be hard to trace and prosecute. Thankfully, you can avoid being fooled by these cons by merely arming yourself with enough knowledge. Do not be an unsuspecting victim to frauds by learning how different banking scams work and how you can protect yourself from them.
- Email Phishing
It’s easy to fall for phishing because it often looks like an email or message sent by a legitimate source like a bank or financial institution. Victims will be asked to click a malicious link that leads to a fake site the scammers control. Users will then be fooled into filling out a form with their sensitive information like email password, credit card details, account number, PIN, etc.
With the information, the scammers would be able to breach your account and make unauthorized transactions, or even sell the data to fellow scammers.
The best way to protect yourself from phishing is to never reply to a suspicious email or one that will ask you for sensitive information. Like they say, “think before you click.”
Make sure that your device is protected against attacks as well, by having an anti-spyware or anti-virus software. In addition, never leave any of your accounts logged in after using it and change passwords for all of your accounts regularly. Do not share any of your passwords or PIN, either.
- ATM Skimming
We’ve long believed that ATM skimming can only be done with an ATM. But now, it can also be done online. Leaving your ATM card information on online shops that allow this kind of payment increases the risk of having your data stolen.
Traditionally, criminals use a skimming device to read the ATM card’s magnetic stripe and copy the details in it. They then create a clone card with the stolen details, so they can run up their charges on your account or withdraw your money through a machine.
Regular cards with a magnetic stripe are now being replaced with EMV cards which utilize chip-based technology for better security, so make sure to have your old cards replaced.
When using an ATM, check its reliability first before inserting your card, like inspecting if the number pad is loose. It’s also smart to use ATMs in well-lit areas with security cameras. And of course, always keep an eye on your card and be aware of your surroundings.
- SIM Swap
SIM swapping is a relatively new form of online scam, wherein a criminal pretends to be either a legitimate mobile subscriber or an authorized representative of a mobile subscriber. They will request for SIM card replacement from a network company, then use the mobile number to access someone else’s personal information like bank account and credit card details.
In a known SIM swapping incident, a woman reportedly lost P40,000 when someone switched her SIM card without her knowing. The criminal then accessed her online banking account linked to her stolen phone number.
To avoid being a SIM swap victim, do not overshare personal details—something as seemingly minute as your birth date, mobile number, or mother’s maiden name may be used. As much as possible, use different email addresses for your social media accounts and online banking.
- Fake Shopping Website
Nowadays, who hasn’t tried online shopping? Be cautious of dubious, malicious sites, as you may end up not only failing to receive your purchased item, but scammers may also get their hands on your confidential information.
- Technical Support Scam
A tech support scam is one wherein the fraudsters present themselves as tech support agents for a software or hardware vendor. These scammers will then convince a victim to have malicious software installed in their computer or provide credit card information for payment.
Another situation may be when a user receives a pop-up message alerting about a virus on their computer to convince them to install a free security scanning software. But it turns out to be a malicious one that gives hackers access to their computers.
- Employment Scam
Fake employers will offer work-at-home or any form of employment to their victims, which will often involve invoice or payroll processing and require an active bank account. The employer will then transfer funds into the account, instructing them to wire some of it to their fake vendors. The employer may also request the victim to wire funds to pay for their onboarding and training costs.
As technology progresses, so will the benefits and challenges it brings. Unfortunately, this also means illegal cyber activity and Internet fraud persist. Aside from being extra cautious when transacting online, you have the option to use platforms that offer better security for your money like Cashalo.
Originally Published on Cashalo.